Emily Meister is Food Rescue Program Manager at Table to Table and manages food rescue in Johnson County, Iowa.
Emily has a few key superpowers that enable Table to Table to rescue 2 million pounds of food each year. With her compassionate manner and infectious smile, she makes everyone feel comfortable and welcome, which is especially important since she works directly with more than 100 volunteers each week who are the heart of the Table to Table mission. Emily is also extremely organized. With her background in both science and fine arts, she is uniquely able to consider the logistics of our food rescue operations. Scheduling more than 700 pick-ups and deliveries each month and managing the schedules of more than 80 volunteers is as much art as science. She also parlays this skill set into what her friends and family have termed a “refrigerator magic”. Never doubt the amount of stuff she can fit into a refrigerator. With Emily on task, a refrigerator is never out of space.
Emily has been part of the Table to Table mission for a year and a half, and prior to her staff position here, she volunteered with us! Her favorite parts of her everyday work include interacting with our dedicated volunteers and helping people get better access to healthy, wholesome food. Her predecessor and mentor, David Wellendorf says, “I know from working with Emily she cares dearly about the environment and not wasting anything” In fact, she describes this commitment as also one of her biggest challenges. “It is hard to say no…when we don’t have the capacity to take on a donation or a client I have a really hard time if I know there is food to be rescued and people to help, and we simply can’t do it because we are already maxed out.” Regardless of the day or what else she has going on, Emily’s kindness to others is unmatched. She is always there working hard, stepping up when the organization needs her most, and doing it all with a smile on her face and joy in her heart.