February 20, 2020
 
Community Servings to Triple Production with New Facility

December 24, 2019 — Community Servings, a Boston-based nonprofit provider of medically tailored meals and nutrition services to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses, last week announced completion of a $25 million kitchen expansion and addition project that will enable it to significantly increase services across Massachusetts.

With the opening of a 31,000-square-foot food campus, Community Servings plans to triple production of its scratch-made meals and double the number of people involved in its volunteer programs.

Ground was broken for the $25 million expansion at the organization's Jamaica Plain home in May 2018, and was completed on schedule. The project was funded through a capital campaign that aimed to raise $12 million, as well as through the federal New Markets Tax Credits program and Healthy Food Finance Initiative. The capital campaign achieved 97% of its goal as of last week.

“For 30 years, we’ve been focused on bringing nutritious, scratch-made, medically tailored meals to our neighbors in need. With the opening of our new food campus, we plan to double and eventually triple the amount of meals we prepare and deliver over the next 10 years,” said David B. Waters, CEO of Community Servings. “Our goal is to ensure that people across the Commonwealth who are living with critical and chronic illnesses receive the nutritious meals they need to maintain and improve their health.”

Community Servings currently delivers 650,000 meals annually to 2,200 people in 21 communities, from Worcester to Lawrence, Greater Boston, and Brockton. At any given time, 100-150 individuals and families are on a waiting list for home-delivered, medically tailored meals, a need that continued to grow which existing facilities could not meet.

The expanded facility will enable the nonprofit to triple meal production over the next decade. Beginning next month, it will expand its service footprint by delivering medically tailored meals to clients via a partnership with United Parcel Service.

Key to the expansion plan is an anticipated doubling of volunteers from 600 today who provide 53,000 hours of service annually, or the equivalent of 50 full-time employees.

The facility expansion, which includes renovation of the existing building as well as a new, three-story addition at 179 Amory St., features:
  • A learning kitchen that will accommodate up to 24 students for job training and nutrition classes, and include video capabilities for nutrition education seminars.

  • A family-friendly volunteer kitchen that will allow individuals of different abilities and families with young children to volunteer in meal preparation and packaging.

  • A baking kitchen that will produce desserts for special diet clients in-house, saving on the cost of purchased desserts while adding a baking component to the job-training program.

  • A food & health policy center that will focus on research into medically tailored meals and health care
Attending the opening at the new facility were, among others, Gov. Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh.

Baker said, “Access to nutrition is crucial to overall well-being, and that’s especially true for the people supported by Community Servings, which is why we’re glad to see this expansion. We have been pleased to support Community Servings through the Massachusetts Food Ventures Program and look forward to the organization’s continued work to support vulnerable populations.”

Walsh noted, "Community Servings does incredible work, and is a helping hand and beacon of hope during the most difficult time in people's lives. This expansion will allow both volunteer programs and job training programs to grow, representing Boston's values, and what we stand for."

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