Jamaica Plain's Community Servings, a nonprofit provider of medically tailored meals and nutrition services to individuals and families in Massachusetts experiencing critical and chronic illnesses, recently announced another expansion of its meal delivery program with the launch of a targeted COVID-19 meals program to support individuals and their families dealing with food insecurity during the global pandemic.
Since the start of the pandemic, the number of clients the agency serves weekly has increased by 56 percent, with capacity expanding to meet the need.
To help identify and enroll participants in the three-month program, Community Servings is partnering with Massachusetts-based health care providers who can refer individuals that have recently tested positive for COVID-19, as well as those presumed positive or at high risk.
“Expanding our medically tailored meal delivery to help feed people impacted by COVID-19 is possible thanks to the generous philanthropic support that we have received over the past year,” said David B. Waters, CEO of Community Servings. “This program, which enables Community Servings to advance its social and health equity vision, is a means for many of our neighbors in need to receive healthy meals tailored by our registered dietitians and cooked with care in our kitchen while safely recovering at home.”
Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Community Servings has prepared and delivered nearly 650,000 medically tailored meals to more than 2,000 people. The culturally appropriate, scratch-made meals are tailored for chronic and critical illnesses, including HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease – and now COVID-19. Providers can easily enroll COVID-19-positive patients or those with other illnesses by simply filling out and submitting the appropriate intake forms.
Of Community Serving’s current clients, 92% are experiencing poverty and nearly two-thirds are from communities of color. Medically tailored meals are available in 15 medical diet types with up to 35 combinations. A typical meal delivery bag includes food for five days’ worth of nutritious lunches, dinners, and snacks.
The COVID-19-specific meals program continues Community Servings’ response to the coronavirus pandemic. In the past year, the organization partnered with the City of Boston to prepare and deliver nearly 30,000 additional healthy meals to food-insecure families. This joint effort also included distributing thousands of specially made “Blizzard Boxes” with extra pantry staples to allow clients to make fewer trips out for groceries during winter weather and spikes in cases of COVID-19.