Remembering Foodlink’s founder, Tom Ferraro, 5 years later

Today — Feb. 11, 2019 — marks five years since the passing of Foodlink’s founder, Tom Ferraro. 

Tom — a visionary, social entrepreneur and passionate anti-hunger advocate, is still very much part of the fabric of Foodlink’s innovative work, and is revered by those who worked alongside him. His death in 2014 left a massive void in a community for which he cared deeply. An excerpt from his obituary reads:

“He had an insatiable energy for life and he channeled this energy into Foodlink’s mission for nearly four decades. Tom was passionate about ending hunger and believed that food was the cornerstone of a strong economy, a healthy community, and empowered individuals.”

Below, Foodlink staff members who worked with Tom were asked to reflect on what made Tom special, and why he inspired so many …

“Tom was, and continues to be, a role model and mentor to me. His out-of-the- box approach to things has been a consistent guide to my way of thinking. Tom fueled my passion for community, leading me to start several youth organizations that host over 250 kids. Tom and my Dad were close friends and that relationship trickled down to us. I was there in hospice by his side in his last days and the conversations we had I truly cherish.”

  • Phil Daniel, Distribution Center Manager

“Tom created a culture of “yes” at Foodlink; he always wanted to be a good community partner and help any individual or organization that wanted to improve our community.”

  • Mitch Gruber, Chief Program Officer

“Tom was a passionate agent of change who could see talent and tap into people’s potential.  Many of my colleagues and I were lucky enough to be hired and inspired by Tom. He believed in me and gave me opportunities to learn and grow professionally, and even encouraged me to get my MBA. Without Tom, I am unsure I would have found a career that is so full of challenges, purpose, and meaning.”

  • Terra Keller, Chief Operating Officer

“I loved how Tom Ferraro walked in the door (of our kitchen) back on Joseph Avenue. I admired how he knew everyone’s names. He would walk up to you and ask you how your day was … I loved how he made sure you were doing OK.”

  • Daviana Rivera, Quality Assurance Supervisor

“Tom appreciated everyone who worked for him … and he let everyone know it, too.”

  • Leon Green, Warehouse Reclamation Lead

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