Once the year’s culminating quarter commences, many people look to double their efforts to lend assistance to the downtrodden. Beth Esposito cannot count herself among those whose hearts grow warmer when temperatures become colder, as she regards rejuvenating others as a daily deed.
“I’m trying to improve myself each day, and I don’t believe that is possible to accomplish if I’m not thinking about how to lighten someone’s burden,” the 45-year-old said. “It’s easy for me to act on the recognition that many people need help.”
The West Passyunk native and Girard Estate resident traces her altruistic ways back to childhood and has made the ensuing decades a display of dedication to physical and emotional needs, particularly through her culinary endeavors.
“Hunger is such an overlooked enemy,” Esposito said of stemming it through her efforts, notably involvement in the weekly Sunday Love Project, the funding and food for which she often supplies in sating more than 150 people in Center City. “Any step to help people to fight back against it is better than doing nothing, so I like being able to use my love for cooking for that purpose.”
The comfortable-in-the-kitchen presence, who sells menus and recipes to eateries, helms her own company, dubbed Pink Garlic, and appeared on the Food Network’s “Cooks vs. Cons,” also has shown her consideration for the less fortunate through the distribution of sleeping bags and clothing to those braving winter’s wrath, has made giving grub to families to share with ill relatives a common practice, and has eased angst for men and women suffering from breast cancer through the Debbie’s Friends Fund. The initiative, named for the late mother of a friend, last week held its Drink for Pink fundraiser at Chickie’s & Pete’s, marking yet another success in her quest to be eternally considerate.
“Everyone should strive to give a bit each day,” Esposito said of her philosophy on making matters better for the suffering among us. “Whatever you choose, just push yourself a little extra, and you’ll see and feel that much better.”
Not one to seek distinction, she gave credit to people with visions and causes for inspiring her every move.
“It’s crazy, then, to have this honor,” Esposito said. “I feel humble about how far I have come in my career but even more so because I can use it and other practices to help people. There are a lot of people who have received help, but many more are in need of care, too. That’s my motivation.” -J.M.