Doing What Our Grandmothers Did, with Anna Hammond, CEO of Matriark Foods - Ep 10
Upcycling vegetable surplus into healthy foodservice products to advance the health of people and the environment.
Episode 10 Summary
Seeing the tons of excess produce left in fields in addition to massive amounts of remnants from large scale fresh-cut facilities going to landfills, Anna Hammond saw an opportunity to address the urgent need of food insecurity, food waste and its and environmental impact. With the same basic principle our grandmothers lived by for generations, “use it don’t waste it”, she founded Matriark Foods. In this episode we learn about how Anna and her business partner Joyce Huang, CFO/COO, created their business with the vision of upcycling large quantities food bound for landfill, providing access to healthy food for schools, hospitals, food banks, and all places where people are fed at a large scale every day while simultaneously having a positive impact on our environment.
We believe in a world where no food goes to waste, and all people have the right and access to healthy food.
It is extremely complex what we're doing on a certain level, and yet it is incredibly simple because we're getting the last mile out of vegetables that are already grown, already harvested, and, in some cases, already transported and lightly processed.
We want this vegetable broth concentrate to be the vegetable broth of choice of institutions for all the right reasons; it's made with real vegetables, it's low sodium, it's healthier than anything else that's on the market, and because it diverts waste from landfill, it’s easy to use, it saves you time, and it's from a women-founded, women- owned business.
About our Guest
Anna Hammond is the Founder and CEO of Matriark Foods is a social impact business— inspired by the thousands of children Anna has worked with including her 3 sons and first grandson— to scale access to healthy food for the benefit of people and the environment. Prior to Matriark Foods, Anna spent 25 years as a nonprofit leader successfully scaling
programs and teams into dynamic, stable, and endowed organizations. From 2010 - 2017, collaborating with farmers, institutions, funders, and foundations committed to solving food insecurity through education and reimagined food systems, she conceived of and implemented a healthy eating program in public housing community centers in all 5 boroughs of New York City and in the 6 school districts in Columbia County. Combining her financial acumen, activism, and her commitment to developing sustainable, effective systems for the benefit of people, she founded Matriark Foods in 2018.
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Matriark Foods upcycles farm surplus and fresh-cut remnants into healthy, delicious, low sodium vegetable products for schools, hospitals, food banks and other food service.
- Matriarchs. Our grandmothers were thrifty, elegant, comforting and strong. They lived through wars and had to stretch meals, so they learned to make a lot out of a little, make it taste good, be filling and nutritious. They lived by the motto “fix it, don’t toss it”. They fixed morsels into meals and there was always room for one more guest at the table.
- Ark. An Ark represents protection and safety. It is the beloved story of a family of people and animals responding to an environmental disaster by preserving one another.
Visit Matriark Foods' website
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Where others see waste, we see...
A complex (but solvable) logistical challenge
A chance to protect the environment
A way to better feed our communities
Mentioned in the Episode
Here are links to companies and organizations that were mentioned or are some of Anna's favorites, we invite you to visit them.
About Glynwood: We advance local food production here in our region, as well as educate a national audience about efforts to regionalize food and agriculture. We are inspired by, and contribute to, aligned work far beyond the borders of the Hudson Valley. Guided by the highest standards of ecosystem, soil, animal and community well-being, we promote regenerative agriculture in service of our natural environment, local economies and human health.
About 1% for the Planet: Ever wonder how 1% for the Planet began?
It all started when two businessmen met and bonded over their shared love for the outdoors. Realizing their responsibility to protect our planet, they decided to give 1% of their sales back to the environment—whether or not they were profitable.