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Matt Jozwiak: New Sexual Harassment Allegations?

Matt Jozwiak

Matt Jozwiak’s story is worth talking about simply because of its serious nature. Men occupying powerful positions in corporations have often abused their authority to abuse women and if the accusations are true then Matt Jozwiak might be 2024’s #MeToo story.

The “trailblazing” CEO and founder of Rethink Food runs an impactful non-profit that has helped countless homeless people sleep with a full stomach.

But Matt is facing accusations of making unwarranted sexual advances on multiple employees of his startup. There are multiple people coming forward detailing their traumatic experiences of working with Jozwiak.

On the other hand, Matt Jozwiak, accompanied by his army of defamation lawyers, is denying all the allegations.

Who should we believe?

The handful of staffers at Rethink Food OR the multi-million CEO speaking through his defamation lawyers?

This article will delve deeper into the controversy so you can have a better idea of what’s exactly going on.

Rethink Food is Great but Matt Jozwiak Might Be a Different Story

Matt Jozwiak, the founder of Rethink Food, a nonprofit organization aimed at solving food insecurity and reducing food waste, has been involved in several controversies, particularly concerning his leadership and management practices.

Matt Jozwiak news story

In 2022, several employees of Rethink Food accused Matt Jozwiak of unwanted advances and mismanagement. These allegations included Jozwiak losing his temper around staff, discussing his sex life with employees, making unwanted advances toward two individuals, and paying one of those people to secure dates for him on Bumble.

The accusations were detailed by 19 former staffers who expressed their disappointment in finding that the workplace culture at Rethink did not align with their expectations.

The organization, which had grown significantly from a startup pulling in $1 to $2 million per year from 2017 to 2019 to a $38-million-dollar operation, became a revolving door for employees.

Rethink hired a nationally recognized defamation law firm, Clare Locke, while the story was being reported and denied the allegations against Jozwiak.

Despite these controversies, Matt Jozwiak and Rethink Food have been recognized for their innovative approach to addressing food insecurity and waste. Rethink Food collects excess food from restaurants, grocery stores, and corporate kitchens and repurposes it into nutritious meals for those facing food poverty.

The organization has served more than three million meals and secured 100 jobs for chefs who would otherwise be out of work due to the pandemic. Rethink Food aims to bridge the gap between the 70 billion tons of food that goes to waste and the 42 million Americans facing food insecurity each year.

Furthermore, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rethink Food adapted its model to support New York restaurants while also feeding people in need. This pivot was recognized with a Feeding Change Fund grant.

Despite the controversies surrounding his leadership, Matt Jozwiak’s work with Rethink Food has made significant contributions to addressing food insecurity and waste, demonstrating the complexity of evaluating the impact of nonprofit organizations and their leaders.

One ex-Staffer Detailed Her Experience with Matt Jozwiak

In the Eater story, which I have linked above (and in the sources), they have shared the tale of an ex-staffer of Rethink Food.

The victim had attended one of Matt’s gatherings which he had organized to celebrate one of the initial milestones of the company. However, surprisingly, there weren’t many Rethink employees present there.

Instead, most of the people present there were Matt’s personal acquaintances. The victim says that Matt was constantly gushing about her and talking about her to others as if they were more than “work colleagues”.

This made her feel awkward and uncomfortable. However, things didn’t end there.

Later, Matt caught the victim alone and told her that he was going to “come to her room at night”. At that time the victim played it off as a joke but she shared that she was extremely uncomfortable.

She was unable to report Matt as she was scared of the repercussions. According to the Eater report, the victim said that she needed her ‘Recommendation Letter’ and Rethink Food was her first non-profit after she graduated from college.

That summer, the victim we talked about left Rethink.

There could be multiple reasons for her leaving the nonprofit she believed so much in, but we can speculate why she made that decision.

Later, she had joined Rethink for a small freelance gig. However, things took a turn for the worse when, according to her, Matt returned to his old ways.

The report says that “Matt resumed blurring the boundaries between the personal and professional.” It further alleges that Matt had asked the victim to run his Bumble account when he was in the middle of a dispute with his fiancee.

He even paid her $50 for running his account on the dating app. Several people confirmed that this happened and the journalists at Eater NY even found the Venmo receipt.

Matt’s lawyers claim that when he paid her for running the Bumble account, she wasn’t an employee at Rethink. Furthermore, the lawyers also claim that the victim had suggested this idea herself.

Another Victim, Similar Story

Eater’s story calls the second victim Emma.

She recounts her experience at a party held for Rethink’s achievements.

Upon arriving at the event, which Jozwiak’s fiancee also attended, Emma highlighted that Matt maintained close proximity to her and directed his attention towards her, according to her account. During the dinner, Emma found herself seated between Jozwiak’s fiancee and Jozwiak himself, who appeared to have consumed a significant amount of alcohol. When Jozwiak got up to deliver a speech about Rethink’s growth and accomplishments, Emma claimed that he had stared at her the whole time. As he returned to his seat after the speech, she alleged that he embraced her, nestled his face in her neck, and whispered, “it was all for you.” Everything had been for them.

“The physical closeness of that — it felt like I was being used to make [the fiancee] jealous,” Emma says. “Matt was not only being physically inappropriate with me but insinuating that there was something between us or something from me that he wanted.”

There’s a lot more to the story.

For example, Emma even alleged that at one event, Matt Jozwiak kept kissing her on the cheeks and held her close. All this time, she was unaware of how to respond because he was her boss and there weren’t many employees at Rethink at the time.

I highly recommend reading the Eater story. It shares a more detailed account of what I described here.

Some of the anecdotes are highly unsettling.

Obviously, Matt Jozwiak hasn’t responded to these allegations himself, his lawyers are managing the responses. They deny all of these allegations and claim that a competitor is behind this ‘slander campaign’.

Summary: Victims Deserve Justice

The allegations against Matt Jozwiak, the founder of Rethink Food, include unwanted advances and mismanagement.

Former staffers have accused him of inappropriate behavior, such as discussing his sex life with employees, making unwanted advances toward two individuals, and paying one of those people to secure dates for him on Bumble.

Additionally, there were claims of him losing his temper around the staff. These allegations were brought forward by 19 former employees who were disappointed that the workplace culture at Rethink did not meet their expectations, especially given the organization’s significant growth from a startup to a $38-million-dollar operation.

Matt Jozwiak’s story is a stark reminder of the #MeToo revelations when women from different professional spheres came together to raise their voices against misogyny and workplace harassment.

What are your thoughts on everything? Let me know in the comments.

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