Yolanda Jefferson has been professionally cooking since she was 15 years old. At age twenty, Yolanda fostered an extraordinary passion to reduce food waste from Blckpearl Catering, a full-service catering company, by donating excess food to non-profits in the Quad Cities!
Food Recue Partnership (FRP) Board Vice-Chair, Christina McDonough, first met Yolanda at the Scott County Health Department ServSafe Class in November 2018 and describes Yolanda as a person that immediately captures your attention and desire to do more for others. “Yolanda spoke from the heart to motivate other professional cooks and food handlers in the class to begin donating food,” said McDonough.
“There are so many people struggling, even if you aren’t homeless, sometimes finances are tight,” Jefferson explained. “Two incomes often times isn’t enough to make ends meet or someone in the family might be sick with medical bills. Food is one thing you can always count on bringing people together and making them happy.” We agree. Yolanda donates a variety of remaining food from Blckpearl Catering events such as ham, potatoes, rice, and vegetables.
Blckpearl Catering opened in 2002, and Yolanda took over and rebranded in 2009. When Yolanda isn’t spending time owning, operating, and preparing food for Blckpearl Catering, you will find her cooking for Humility of Mary Shelter, Inc. and local churches. When it comes to food rescue, Yolanda believes in “cooking everything” because she “doesn’t like to see food go to waste.” In addition to Blckpearl Catering’s weekly food donations and Jefferson’s volunteerism, Yolanda helps organize the Culinary Throwdown each September to raise awareness and donations for Sickle Cell.
Welcome to the Member of Food Rescue program, Blckpearl Catering! For more information about Blckpearl Catering, like their Facebook page.