Community Servings, a Jamaica Plain-based nonprofit provider of medically tailored meals and nutrition services, and a leader in “food is medicine” research, advocacy and policy, recently announced plans for a satellite distribution center in Mansfield.
At the new distribution center, Community Servings will be able to efficiently reposition and expand meal packaging and delivery operations serving critically and chronically ill clients throughout the region south and west of Boston.
Community Servings has finalized a long-term lease agreement for a 23,000-square-foot warehouse building in the Cabot Business Park located near the junction of interstates 95 and 495. The interior space will be renovated to accommodate Community Servings’ mission and is expected to begin operating this fall.
“This new satellite location will enable us to more easily reach the individuals who depend on our nutritious meals through a more efficient packaging, shipping and delivery network,” said David B. Waters, CEO of Community Servings. “This project – an important new phase in our continuing growth – will also provide much-needed elbow room for the dedicated employees and 100-plus daily volunteers at our Jamaica Plain headquarters, where our entire operation has grown in place since 2007.”
Community Servings worked collaboratively on its plans with the town of Mansfield and recently secured federal funding for the project with the support of Massachusetts’ congressional delegation.
“I recently had the honor of touring Community Servings and engaging with staff to see first-hand how the federal dollars we delivered have helped this essential organization to deliver medically tailored meals to people with critical and chronic illnesses,” said Senator Ed Markey. “At the new distribution center, volunteers will package, ship and deliver medically tailored meals so that individuals and families across Massachusetts can thrive.”
The distribution center represents the first major physical growth by Community Servings since the completion of a 31,000-square-foot expansion project in 2019 that transformed its Jamaica Plain headquarters into a three-story food campus featuring a larger kitchen, culinary classrooms, a volunteer orientation room, administrative offices, and a center for food and health policy research.
Every day, Community Servings makes nearly 5,000 delicious, nutritious meals that are tailored to meet the requirements of more than 15 distinct medical diets. The meals are delivered to individuals living with chronic and critical conditions, including HIV/AIDS, cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Demand for the meals has surged by over 140% in the last three years as Community Servings expanded its reach statewide, supported primarily by philanthropic donations and major fundraisers including LifeSavor and Pie in the Sky.
Community Servings will continue to freshly prepare all of its meals in Jamaica Plain, with a portion transferred to Mansfield for bagging and boxing for delivery to clients in southeastern Massachusetts including across Cape Cod and parts of Rhode Island.
“We are very excited to see Community Servings move forward with a new distribution center in the Cabot Park,” said Kevin J. Dumas, Mansfield’s Town Manager. “Not only will this provide a critical service to families in need throughout Mansfield and Southeastern Massachusetts, it will also activate a key parcel and serve as a hub of volunteer service for corporate groups and individuals alike.”
Community Servings is adding new office and packaging positions and delivery driver jobs to fully staff the distribution center. A new fleet of a half-dozen delivery vans or box trucks will be added to the operation. A volunteer operation, similar to the one that supports the mission on a daily basis in Jamaica Plain, will be built up in Mansfield.