Community Servings Makes 9 Millionth Meal

Community Servings has reached a milestone in its mission of providing nourishing, scratch-made meals to people living in Massachusetts with critical and chronic illnesses, who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves: 9 million meals made. The Jamaica Plain-based nonprofit organization, founded in 1990, has experienced major growth over the past year as medically tailored meal services have been integrated into new patient-centered models of care, expanding the agency’s reach across the commonwealth. More recently, the COVID-19 outbreak has prompted a surge in need for healthy food sources among the most vulnerable in the community. “Community Servings has risen to the challenge presented by the pandemic by growing our client services, kitchen and meal delivery teams, and ramping up our scratch-made meal preparation by 40 percent to help feed hundreds of hungry neighbors in Boston each week,” said David B. Waters, CEO of Community Servings. “Our work – not only in response to COVID-19 but throughout our 30-year history – would not be possible without the many individual donors, corporations and private foundations that have supported us, along with help from public sector partners like the city of Boston.”

While the agency anticipated growing into its recently expanded, 31,000-square-foot Food Campus with a steady ramp-up over the next five years, Community Servings is now using all available cooking and packaging space to allow for workplace social distancing and to address the sharp increase in demand for meals.

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Boston Scores Providing Face Masks to Students and Families

Boston Scores, one of Boston Public School’s largest afterschool programs, has committed to distribute up to 5,000 non-surgical face masks to the students and families they serve. With the donation of masks, Jamaica Plain based Boston Scores is helping to meet one of the community’s most pressing health needs. Many of the students that Boston Scores serve live in family and community circumstances that are highly vulnerable: they lack financial security for unexpected expenses, they do not possess affordable and accessible healthcare, and they have few options to proactively minimize the economic and health risks of this pandemic. With PPE equipment in short supply, Boston Scores was able to reallocate a portion of its operating funding to purchase more than 5,000 masks to help its students and families to safely go outdoors, run errands and pursue other essential activities. The offer has been greatly appreciated by the community and more than half of the masks have already been allocated to schools and community partners in Roxbury and surrounding neighborhoods.

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City & MassArt Awarded $1.2 Million for ‘Radical Imagination for Racial Justice’ Program

The city and MassArt received a $1.2 million award from the Surdna Foundation to support Boston-connected artists of color through the development of a new, three-year regranting program Radical Imagination for Racial Justice. Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, will distribute funds to artists seeking to advance racial justice through collaborative projects in their communities. “This is a huge moment for the city of Boston as we work to achieve equity in all sectors across all of our neighborhoods and communities,” said Mayor  Marty Walsh. “Boston artists have improved the city’s culture and vibrancy firsthand, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they use their art to creatively imagine a better future for our city.”

The award is part of a three-year artist regranting initiative through Surdna’s Thriving Cultures program, which will support up to 260 projects by artists of color working with their communities around the country to imagine and practice racially just systems and structures. Through this award, Boston and MassArt will redistribute Surdna’s funds to artists and will provide direct support and technical assistance.

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Jamaica Plain Cancer Survivor Will Walk Jimmy Fund Walk with Son

Jamaica Plain resident Katherine Walsh will participate in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk as a way to give back to Dana-Farber for saving her life. In 2010, Walsh was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) when she was a graduate student earning her Ph.D. She was actually working in a research lab at Dana-Farber during this time. After her diagnosis, she took a break from her Ph.D and was treated at Dana-Farber. "When I was sick,” said Walsh. “I really benefited from the resources at Dana-Farber.”

Once she entered remission and finished up her Ph.D program, she knew she wanted to give back to the hospital that saved her life.

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