Gisele Barreto Fetterman is an access and equity advocate, a hugger and the Second Lady of Pennsylvania. She is the founder of Freestore 15104, where surplus and donated goods are received and redistributed to neighbors in need. The Freestore aims to eradicate food and clothing insecurity and has inspired spin off locations and the birth of 412 Food Rescue. Gisele is the co-founder of 412 Food Rescue, a community wide effort to end hunger and reduce food waste. 412FR has rescued over 11 million pounds of food. She is co-founder of For Good PGH, a non-profit that works to advocate inclusion and inspire kindness. Its first initiative, Hello Hijab, has received both national and international praise. Gisele was born in Brazil and emigrated as a child to the US, living as an undocumented immigrant for over a decade. Her work has been featured in the TODAY Show, CNN, NPR and more. Gisele is a Forty under 40 honoree, a Tedx Speaker a Jefferson Awards recipient. She is a mother of three plus a beloved rescue pup named Levi.
Gisele was raised by a courageous single mom. Her family immigrated to the U.S. after feeling like they normalized violence in their home city.
Gisele’s work is entirely inspired by her undocumented immigrant experience.
She remembers moving from a very poor country to the U.S., a country of excess. Her family used to dumpster dive and shop for furniture on garbage night. She saw the U.S. could feed, clothe and furnish the country she immigrated from just from their trash.
Gisele started Freestore 15104 with the goal to eliminate food and clothing security in her local community. She’s cofounded For Good PGH to develop and implement initiatives that promote diversity, inclusivity and create positive experiences for underserved populations. She’s also cofounder of 412 Food Rescue which prevents good food from entering the waste stream by redirecting it to those who are experiencing food insecurity.
Gisele’s mission is to show value in what has been devalued - in all places, people and things.
Food is love. Giving people good food to those in need is showing that you can see them, you love them, you care to keep them comfortable and safe, and that you believe in them.
Immigration is not only the history of this country. It’s also our future. No one is above or below the next person. We’re all in this together.
A huge part of providing dignity to others is giving them the ability to choose what they want.
Those who hate react that way because they are taught those behaviors and because they’re hurting too. Knowing that everyone is suffering in their own way is an avenue to seek compassion and empathy for all. Kindness should be shown to everyone, even those who are not nice because they’re the ones who need it the most.