Our Mission

We elevate the health of people and the planet

by recovering nutrient dense food from local sources, provide it to organizations that address hunger, in order to break the cycle of wasted food and food insecurity.

Our Mission

We Elevate the Health of People and the Planet

By recovering nutrient dense food from local sources, provide it to organizations that address hunger, in order to break the cycle of wasted food and food insecurity.

” The organization is amazing. We rescue food that would otherwise be discarded and create nourishing meals for those in need.” 

-Andrea, Volunteer 

Our Board & Leadership

Jason
Kofman

Board President

“I was inspired to get involved because of the passion everyone at Second Chance Foods has for addressing these missions. We are a small group of motivated people pulling together to make this world better for our environment and our community.”  

Helen
Banks Iral

Board Vice President

That’s why I was so drawn to Second Chance Foods – they are doing the right thing.  It’s a little twist on the saying Waste Not, Want Not.”

Rich
Winters

Board Treasurer

I continue to be astounded by SCF’s throughput statistics and its complex matrix of moving donated foods and prepared meals to people in need.

Jean
Rambusch McGee

Board Secretary & Co-Founder

My favorite part of working with Second Chance Foods is the opportunity to harvest on the local farms we collaborate with. I value the fresh, organic produce I personally glean for our clients.

Eri
Uerkwitz

Board Member

I love Second Chance Foods because it extends to the community the same care and thoughtfulness we extend to our own families: lovingly prepared fresh food.

 

Alison
Jolicoeur

Founder

“I have a passion for helping to heal people and the planet and I was blown away when I learned from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver that 40% of the food produced in this country ends up in the landfill! I had to do something, and I was inspired to start Second Chance Foods.”  

Martha
Elder

Executive Director

“We must focus on the health of our planet, and reducing food waste is an important piece of addressing the climate crisis”

Liz
Corio

Director

Liz@SecondChanceFoods.org

“Quote”

 

 

 

 

Kathryn
LaCombe

Kitchen Manager

“Food is a fundamental need, and we have the opportunity to feed the hungry using rescued resources. This intersection of rescue and resources is lifesaving for our neighbors and planet. “

Heather
Marinelli

Volunteer Coordinator

“Volunteering with Second Chance Foods is a place to do good work and be a part of an authentic community of people. There are so many different ways we know you’ll find a meaningful connection. Even if you’ve never volunteered before there is a place for you and a way to get involved using your gifts, talents, and time – just ask me how!”

Ellen
Mazzei

Operations Assistant

“The entire process continues to amaze me. From harvesting the produce, the donations we receive, what we create from those items, and the number of volunteers that help out each day.”

Stephanie
Purcell

Associate Director

“I love that Second Chance Foods puts the recipients at the center of every harvested piece of produce and every meal cooked in the kitchen. The collective passion of the volunteers, board, and staff is unmistakable and carries through to all the work they do – it’s a joy to be a part of!”

Maggy
Keet

Individual Giving and Events Officer

“From farms to fridges, our food system is broken resulting in food insecurity and climate change. While I do what I can at home to reduce waste and compost our food scraps, it’s deeply fulfilling to use my gifts and skills to support an organization addressing these intersecting issues in such an innovative and impactful way.”

Interested in Joining Our Team?

We're always looking for community partners, board members, and professionals committed to food rescue!

Jason Kofman

Second Chance Foods focuses on two critical challenges: environmental sustainability and reducing hunger. It is that rare organization that delivers simultaneously on a dual mandate and does both really well. I was inspired to get involved because of the passion everyone at Second Chance Foods has for addressing these missions. We are a small group of motivated people pulling together to make this world better for our environment and our community.

I’ve been fortunate to have worked for three fantastic companies over the past 30 years: Moody’s Analytics, Oliver Wyman, and Goldman Sachs. While specializing in sales, I also have experience in finance, operations, and general management. At home, my wife Kathleen and I have three great kids (Sam, Zoe & Nate) and our dog Siena. I spend my spare time playing bass guitar and trying to be outside as much as possible.

I like to cook what’s in season. Zucchini, tomatoes & corn in the summer, brussel sprouts & broccoli rabe in autumn, cabbage in winter, and asparagus in spring.

Traveling and cooking. I’ve been to 57 countries and enjoy trying recipes from all over.

Helen Banks Iral

I first became aware of Second Chance Foods when I worked at one of our partner farms. It warmed my heart to know that the excess food we were producing was being donated to an organization that would distribute it to people who were experiencing food insecurity and that it would not go to waste.  

I am a daughter of a long-time Town Judge who always emphasized the importance of doing the right thing. He showed by example how to give back to your community where and when it was needed most.  When those values are instilled within you at a young age you often seek out organizations that are champions at giving back to the community.  That’s why I was so drawn to Second Chance Foods – they are doing the right thing.  It’s a little twist on the saying “Waste Not, Want Not”.  Second Chance Foods helps save thousands of pounds of precious food from going to waste while helping those who are in need and want access to good food not to go hungry. 

I was born and raised in Westchester County, NY but married a man in the Navy and spent 20 years living in many places on the east and west coasts. We returned to NY to finish raising our four daughters, who have now all moved on to their own adventures.  Now it’s just my husband Romero, myself and our two dogs, Cora and Ari.  I love the outdoors and exploring all the National Parks.

Beet!  The true heart vegetable! Not only do I love red and golden beets, but beet greens as well – they all just can’t be beat!!

Teaching children about sustainable agriculture and where their food comes from. Farm to table cooking. Plant medicine to keep you healthy and Traveling. 

Rich Winters

I first encountered SCF through my Rotary Club. SCF needed cooling capacity and the club offered some relief by providing a mobile cooler. 

Volunteering for food preparation at the kitchen followed. It was a lesson in local food insecurity. Then the COVID crisis ratcheted up need as well as an outpouring of generosity.

Seeing neighbors in distress reminded me of the family stories I heard growing up. It was a reminder of why my immigrant grandparents left their homeland and how their children suffered through the Great Depression.

I continue to be astounded by SCF’s throughput statistics and its complex matrix of moving donated foods and prepared meals to people in need.

I grew up in Queens where I “survived” 12 years of parochial school. After marrying, Cecilia and I lived on Long Island for 11 years then moved to Putnam in 1987. My immediate family now consists only of myself and my adult daughter who also resides in Putnam.

Lettuce… As found in a BLT on a roll with extra mayo.

How things are made, why they stopped working or would never work to begin with. Putnam County History, and the birds at my feeders.

Jean Rambusch McGee

I am passionate about environmental, nutritional, and social justice issues. Second Chance Foods addresses all of these. I love spending time outdoors and nature is, for me, a teacher and a healer. While raising my children, I was on a food stamp program, twice, through WIC (Woman, Infants, and Children). While I am grateful for this assistance, I intimately understand the feeling of food insecurity. My favorite part of working with Second Chance Foods is the opportunity to harvest on the local farms we collaborate with. I value the fresh, organic produce I personally glean for our clients.

I have lived in Putnam County since 1991 raising my 3 children, all of whom are involved in non-profit work. Over the years, I have studied on the graduate level Physiology of Exercise, Nutrition, Cardiac Rehabilitation, and Integrative Holistic Health and Healing. As an instructor of massage therapy, I have been able to incorporate all of these areas in my teachings, with the hope of instilling an appreciation for a wholistic approach to life in my students and massage clients. As a co-founder of Second Chance Foods I have been blessed with the opportunity to be on different farms and to start learning how to grow my own food. A huge plus since I have a love for digging in the dirt.

Honey Nut Squash, Butternut Squash, and Cauliflower. Chopped, coated with oil, and roasted.

Homeschooling, self-care, one of my favorite authors, Barbara Kingsolver (she writes both fiction and non-fiction heavily based on nature), Andrew Goldsworthy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and my love for reading seed catalogs.

Eri Uerkwitz

I believe good food is medicine and a human right. It also takes time and thought. I love Second Chance Foods because it extends to the community the same care and thoughtfulness we extend to our own families: lovingly prepared fresh food.

I grew up in communist Albania and came to the United States when I was 19 years old. I have lived in the mid Hudson Valley for 6 years now. I feel fortunate everyday to be able to raise my family in such beautiful nature. 

Eggplant, roasted with a bit of olive oil, salt and oregano (dried from the garden, of course).

Homeschooling, my chickens, and Mediterranean recipes – did you know Albania is the world’s largest exporter of sage?

Alison Jolicoeur

I have a passion for helping to heal people and the planet and I was blown away when I learned from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver that 40% of the food produced in this country ends up in the landfill!  I had to do something, and I was inspired to start Second Chance Foods. 

 

As a Health Coach and Shamanic Practitioner, I understand the relationship between the Earth, our food, and the health of humanity, and it is my continued desire to help people and the planet by connecting community with healthy, fresh, and nourishing food.

I have lived in the beautiful Hudson Valley of NY since 2007, after a decade in the city, it was time to get my hands back in the dirt!  I enjoy always expanding my garden, whether it be my actual physical garden, or the garden of community – connecting spirits through music, wellness, food, and nature.  I am also a Homeschooling Mother of a divine daughter, and I enjoy sharing the gifts of spirit with my daughter, as well as my community, so that we all may know, the same divine essence that grows a rose or a mighty oak, is at work in each of us.

I can’t decide on just one!  I love all my vegetables finely chopped in a fresh salad with avocado and a simple dressing of olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

Kundalini Yoga, Shamanic Reiki, Songwriting, Gardening, Homesteading, Homeschooling, Plant Medicine, Sound and Frequency Therapy.

Martha Elder

I grew up with depression era parents who instilled in me the importance of not wasting food. They also modeled giving back to our local community and it has always just been a part of my life.

 

In my adult life I have worked as a social worker and have seen first hand the impacts of poverty and hunger on children and families. I also know that we must focus on the health of our planet, and reducing food waste is an important piece of addressing the climate crisis.

I have lived in Putnam County since 1998 with my husband. We have 2 sons, 2 dogs and a cat. I love spending time in our woods, observing nature and the changes that happen with the seasons and the years. I am grateful to have raised my children in nature and for them to have an appreciation for the natural world.

Sweet Potato? I know it’s a tuber and not a veggie but they are so delicious, versatile and nourishing!

Homeschooling, cooking with local foods, or a great realistic fiction book recommendation

Kathryn LaCombe

Our lifesaving potential is why I am passionate about Second Chance Foods. Food is a fundamental need, and we have the opportunity to feed the hungry using rescued resources. This intersection of rescue and resources is lifesaving for our neighbors and planet. Because Second Chance Foods is part of a generous network of organizations and individuals who gather to help and support neighbors in need, I get to use my skills to support the mission.

Professionally, I taught composition and literature at a university and community college and moved into an academic administrator role. Then, I built upon those experiences when homeschooling my son.

When homeschooling, we had the opportunity to craft our moments; this is what led us to Second Chance Foods. What began as a service activity for our family has become a passion for each of us.

A favorite? I love them all. My dad was born during the Depression and lived in the rural South. Vegetables were plentiful when he was young. He always grew a robust garden when I was young, even when we lived in neighborhoods. His tomatoes were my favorite – a sun-warmed garden fresh tomato sprinkled with some salt!

Homeschooling, historical fiction, travel, volunteering or Louisiana cuisine!

Heather Marinelli

This whole organization is run on passion and purpose! I am astounded by the many ways Second Chance Foods makes a difference in our world. As a volunteer from the beginning of 2016, I believed in the goodness of the mission and have seen good people doing good work for a good cause. There’s nothing better!

All five of my kids were born in Putnam Valley, NY, but I have roots in Arizona and Illinois. We homeschooled some kids some of the time until 2023 and spent so much of that time outdoors. I am a service nut and love that I get to help connect people to projects in this role as Volunteer Coordinator! Before starting our family, my husband and I served as Peace Corps Volunteers in Bolivia, SA, and I have worked in the nonprofit world from the beginning of my career – realizing early on that our greatest gift is our time and talent.

Beets! This vegetable transformed my outlook on using whole food from the root to the green. I get excited if I see beets in the recipe or on the menu.

Home things like birthing, breastfeeding, cloth diapers, gardening, homeschooling, hiking with kids, or the insanity of kids’ sports.
I also love to travel! Ask me about studying abroad, living abroad, working abroad, or volunteering abroad.

Ellen Mazzei

I grew up in a household where food was precious and never wasted. My father was the only one working to support our family. To help feed all six of us we utilized WIC and my mom’s garden filled with fresh vegetables. I think that’s why I hate wasting food and love creating a way to use food that otherwise would have been discarded.

I’ve also been drawn to cooking since I was a child. It started with my first Home-Ec class in school and has continued through today! I love taking leftovers and various things I find in the kitchen and turning them into a delicious meal – just like Second Chance Foods!

I try to instill that same appreciation at home with our children. For example, I made their baby food from scratch when they were kids. The value of eating healthy is important to me, but with three infants, it was also necessary to find the most cost-efficient way to feed our family.

Second Chance Foods is a fantastic organization. The entire process continues to amaze me. From harvesting the produce, the donations we receive, what we create from those items, and the number of volunteers that help out each day. I am proud to be part of a team that nourishes the world and saves the planet!

I have lived in Putnam County since 1985 and in Kent, NY, since 2002. My husband and I have 12-year-old triplets who keep us busy with sports and social activities. We have raised them to be an active part of society and have encouraged volunteering since they were 4 years old. As a result, they know how important it is to give back. And they love the mission of Second Chance Foods and are proud that I am part of this unbelievable organization.

I enjoy working out and eating healthy. Which is another reason I am so enamored with the mission of Second Chance Foods.

Honestly, all of them! If I had to pick, it’d be either Asparagus or Artichokes. I think I’m drawn to Artichokes because they remind me of the holidays. They’re a lot of work to prepare (we stuff them with breadcrumbs, cheese, capers, etc.), but that makes them special.

Art. Graphic Design. Ice Hockey. Lacrosse. Figure Skating. Music. Theater. Creating good sleep habits for infants. : )

Stephanie Purcell

When I first learned of Second Chance Foods I was immediately impressed with its ability to tackle two critical issues that impact all of us- Food Waste and Hunger. Second Chance Foods addresses both of these problems and goes further to create thoughtful meals and fresh options that provide variety and create a complete diet while reducing the amount of wasted food – what could be better than that? 

 

I also love that Second Chance Foods puts the recipients at the center of every harvested piece of produce and every meal cooked in the kitchen. The collective passion of the volunteers, board, and staff is unmistakable and carries through to all the work they do. It’s a joy to be a part of.

My bachelor’s degree is in Studio Art, but I switched to nonprofit work about a decade ago when searching for a more fulfilling career. I’ve enjoyed the variety of roles I’ve held over the years including fund development, operations, programming, and serving on a board. I still make art when I’m able and love carving relief prints. 

 

I live in Nebraska with my husband and two dogs: Stan and Proud Mary who are very…spirited. We live on-site at a scout ranch because my husband, Robert, is the ranger. We’re grateful for everything living outside the city allows us to do like hiking, camping, canoeing, and connecting with the nature around us.

 

Though the Hudson Valley isn’t my own neighborhood, I feel connected to Second Chance Foods and see it as a part of my community. Since working there its mission has inspired Robert and I to do more to prevent food waste where we can. For example, during summer, the camp (where we live) hosts hundreds of people a day and receives regular deliveries of food which creates a lot of leftovers. So, he found a shelter that would take both the leftover prepared food and any extra fresh items that previously went to waste. We also donated our wedding leftovers and any extra food we can. I don’t think these efforts would have been as obvious or felt as easy without the influence of Second Chance Foods and is a testament to how far its influence reaches. 

My husband would say its parsnips because I try to put them in *everything* but I also love summer tomatoes of every color and size and could probably eat kale every day. 

Printmaking, foraging for mushrooms, baking easy artisan bread, hiking or camping in Wyoming, and I’m always interested in talking about birds. 

 

Maggy Keet

The United States wastes a staggering 120 billion pounds of food annually. From farms to fridges, our food system is broken resulting in food insecurity and climate change. While I do what I can at home to reduce waste and compost our food scraps, it’s deeply fulfilling to use my gifts and skills to support an organization addressing these intersecting issues in such an innovative and impactful way.

I’m a mom, climate activist, mission-driven fundraiser, and the founder of PlanetarianLife.com, a non-judgemental platform that teaches people how to align their lifestyles with their hopes for the Earth. I recently transplanted from New York City to Westchester where I live with my husband, Andy, and our two kids Dash (9) and Nova (4).

To me there’s nothing more satisfying than a buttered and salted ear of freshly picked corn on the cob.

How to cook delicious plant-rich meals, the best hiking spots in the area, and for tips on hosting a party people will remember.

contact us

We’d love to talk with you more!


P.O. Box 93

Carmel, NY10512

914-261-0797

Contact Us

Looking for food?

Though we wish we could nourish everyone in need, Second Chance Foods does not directly distribute meals or groceries to individuals at this time. We utilize existing programs in the community and supplement their food with our meals and groceries. If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, please refer to our resource page here for our partnerships and local options.

Mailing Address:

P.O.Box 93
Carmel, NY 10512

Kitchen Address:

116 Federal Hills Rd Brewster, NY 10509

*please note we do not keep "hours" at the kitchen at this time. If you are looking to donate food please contact Kathryn@SecondChanceFoods.org or call 845-723-1302

Phone:

General Questions please contact Associate Director Stephanie Purcell 845-723-1311

Volunteer Questions contact Volunteer Coordinator Heather Marinelli 845-723-1309

Contact Form


Second Chance Foods is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

EIN# 81-0996695