Rescued appetisers: Carla DeFord photo                                                   Carla DeFord photo

First were the appetizers: caprese skewers (at right), salmon mousse on cucumber rounds, pastrami and tenderloin steak-tip sliders and crackers-and-cheese platters with grapes.

After the 90 guests were seated, Lex Eat Together volunteer servers went into action and brought out the soup course: watermelon gazpacho, followed by the entrée: fish-and-crab cakes with greens and red-cabbage slaw.

Then the dessert carts rolled out of the kitchen loaded with flourless chocolate cake, fresh fruit salad and warm homemade bread pudding. That was the menu on the evening of Thursday, July 27, at the Food Link Rescue-to-Table fund-raiser dinner, held at the Church of Our Redeemer in Lexington, where Lex Eat Together provides weekly community meals for those in need. The event raised $13,000.

Fresh shots of the fund-raiser >>

A feast fit for royalty, 80 percent of Thursday night's dinner was prepared from rescued food.

As chef Bruce Lynn, who created the meal, noted when speaking to the guests, eating rescued food is *not* dumpster diving. To prove his point, Lynn, a Food Link volunteer and the lead chef of Lex Eat Together, said that the same kind of high-quality produce served that night is provided by Food Link to the Lex Eat Together program every week.

DeAnne Dupont, cofounder of Food Link, thanked the board and volunteers of Lex Eat Together for hosting the dinner and the church for the use of its beautifully renovated basement room, a k a the Great Hall. She noted that 40 percent of food grown or sold in the United States goes to waste and that one in 10 residents of Massachusetts does not get enough nutrients. 

Food Link was founded to help stop the waste and "break the barrier of access," as Dupont put it, by rescuing nutritious surplus food from local retailers and distributing it, free of charge, to 30 social-service agencies. Doing its work with the help of more than 100 volunteers, Food Link is on the job every day of the year except for Christmas and Thanksgiving, "because that's when the stores are closed," Dupont noted. 

Among those in attendance at the dinner were Arlington Selectman Joe Curro, state Representative Jay Kaufman, newly elected state Senator Cindy Friedman and Rabbi Howard Jaffe of Temple Isaiah in Lexington. The guests left with bouquets of rescued flowers and gift bags containing recipes for dishes made that night as well as a few rescued goodies. 

It was a summer night to remember -- a celebration of food rescue and the Food Link community.    

For further information about or to volunteer with Food Link, visit

May 24, 2017: As Food Link turns 5, big birthday surprises

Oct. 11, 2016: Chamber honors nonprofit cofounder

Aug. 8, 2016: Linking up with DeAnne Dupont: By-the-numbers retiree rescues food

This news announcement was published Monday, June 26, 2017, and updated to a news summary by YourArlington Carla DeFord on July 31.