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Meet Carlyn O'Hearn, Food Recovery Specialist At Move For Hunger

March 28, 2024

Welcome to our Meet the Team series, where we’ll be introducing the Move For Hunger Staff 1 blog and 9 questions at a time. We hope you enjoy getting to know our team members as much as we enjoy working with them!

We are excited to introduce one of our food recovery specialists, Carlyn O’Hearn. With a background in social work, Carlyn is very passionate about helping people and advocating for food waste.

What Do You Do At Move For Hunger? 

I am a Food Recovery Specialist.

Why did you join Move For Hunger?

One reason I joined the Move For Hunger team is because the United States wastes about 40% of its food supply while 1 in 8 households in the US experience food insecurity, it doesn’t make sense! 

At Move for Hunger, I have the opportunity to close this gap and not only help put food into communities in need but also have a focus on sustainability by saving food from being wasted.

I come from a social work background and after graduating, I was offered the opportunity to work with a local food pantry. There, I saw how food could bring people together and communities built around sharing meals. I had never felt that sense of belonging before working with my “pantry family.” It was truly a heart warming experience and so formative for me and my future career in hunger relief.

What do you like about working at Move For Hunger?

What I like about working at Move For Hunger is the wonderful team and partners I get to work alongside. Not only do we all work toward hunger relief, but I have made meaningful relationships along the way. I have the opportunity to work with wonderful, passionate people throughout the country. It’s a cool experience to get each other excited about all the opportunities we have to rescue food and get that food into people’s communities. It’s very rewarding all around.

What’s something that you’re working on right now that you’re excited about?

Right now, I am working on a few different food rescue opportunities for upcoming races/marathons. These excite me because it illustrates how many differing opportunities there are to reduce food waste by donating surplus food. 

Who has influenced you the most?

Oof this one is tough to answer just one! I have many strong, passionate women in my life I admire. My two colleagues in the “pantry family”, Paola and Hai, I really look up to and model after them, especially in this work. Not only do they have a deep care for people and their community, they are also innovative, outspoken, and involved. 

My dear friend, Mikaleh, also has to be mentioned because I truly don’t think I would be who I am without her in my life. She and I have grown up together and she has challenged and encouraged me to grow in ways I never knew possible. She is a testament of true friendship and love that I feel can sometimes be rare to find in this world. Mikaleh is another innovative, wicked smart, and outspoken woman whom I deeply admire and look up to.

What food could you eat every day and never get tired of?

I could eat a bowl of Pho or a Báhn Mì every day and never get tired of it! 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

Do the thing. Time will pass anyway.

Sometimes, for me, starting something new, learning something new can be daunting. I try to remind myself of this to reduce the waiting around or hesitance I come to at times. START TODAY!

What’s your favorite movie?

My favorite movie is Jackie Brown.



Make sure to check back in soon to meet new members of our team, and follow our social channels (@moveforhunger) to stay up to date on hunger news and the impact our network is making!