Nutrition Program for Individuals and Families

by Community Servings
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Nutrition Program for Individuals and Families
Nutrition Program for Individuals and Families
Nutrition Program for Individuals and Families
Nutrition Program for Individuals and Families
Nutrition Program for Individuals and Families

Dear Friend,

On behalf of Community Servings’ clients, volunteers, and staff, thank you again for your generosity. Over the past year we have had great success in our effort to prevent hunger among low-income individuals and families affected by critical illness. 

Over the past year, we have provided 598,711 medically tailored meals to over 2,021 individuals who were living with more than 25 different life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, renal disease, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis.  In addition, we experienced successful outcomes in our nutrition education, job-training, volunteer, local foods and food and health policy programs as detailed in the attached report.

Thank you again for your generous commitment to Community Servings and the clients we serve.  

Sincerely,

David B. Waters
CEO

 

MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Nutrition Program

  • Through our Nutrition Program for Individuals and Families Affected by Critical and Chronic Illnesses we provided 598,711 meals to 2,021 men, women and children in our program who were affected by a critical illness in fiscal year 2017, representing 109% of our meal projections and a 20% increase since 2015. 

  • More than 25,000 nutrition supplements and 750 Nausea Care Packs were provided to clients at the highest level of nutritional vulnerability.

  • Of those served, 92% were living in poverty and 50% were families. Eleven percent (11%) of our clients were 18 years old or younger. Seventy-four percent (74%) of those served were critically ill clients and 26% were dependents and caregivers.  Sixty-four percent (64%) of our clients were from racial/ethnic minorities.

  • 57% of clients who responded to our annual Client Survey, said that in the month before starting Community Servings’ nutrition program they were concerned about having enough food to eat for themselves and their family.  After starting our meals 72% said this was no longer a concern.  Additional results showed 70% reporting that our meals were helping them achieve their weight goals, 63% of the respondents said that their energy levels have increased or stabilized since they began receiving our meals and 65% reported that the meals were excellent or good at meeting their cultural preferences.

  • We maintained more than 200 referral partnerships with area health and social service organizations to ensure we are reaching clients and families living at the highest levels of nutritional vulnerability. 

 

Client Story 
Ricardo is blind due to diabetes and also has kidney failure. When Ricardo and his wife lost their housing, they had to relocate to a motel with their five children because the homeless shelters were full. The motel had no kitchenette to prepare food so the family was unable to prepare meals for themselves.Enrolled in our nutrition program, Ricardo and his family now enjoy healthy, comforting lunches, dinners and snacks. Ricardo’s meals are tailored to help him cope with his illnesses. His children, who range in age from 5 to 13, dig into “kid-friendly” foods like our baked chicken and rice. We also deliver breakfast so Ricardo’s children do not go to school hungry.

 

Volunteer Program

  • Our kitchen is producing an average of 2,200 meals per day.  This would not have been possible without the help of 5,300 volunteers who donated over 54,000 hours over the fiscal year, helping us prepare, package and deliver our meals. 

Local Foods Program

  • Through our Local Foods program, we received 55,000 pounds of donated produce from eight local farms and sources.

  • Through a local foods grant, we have begun a new partnership with Red Tomato, a local food aggregator based in Plainville, MA that provides wholesale distribution from eight MA farms. Working with a local food aggregator will enable us to streamline purchasing of some products through one source and ensure our large produce orders can be filled.

Nutrition Education

  • Over the past year, we also exceeded our projections for nutrition education, delivering 6,000 hours of nutrition education to 2,400 individuals affected by critical or chronic illness.  This includes our successful “Farm to Fork” program that offers free shares of local produce from farm partners coupled with on-site nutrition education in our Nutrition Classroom. 

 “Food Is Medicine” Food & Health Policy Initiative

  • Our “Food is Medicine for Diabetes” research project, funded by BNY Mellon, MGH and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of MA, continues to progress with study results expected this summer and published in a peer reviewed medical journal.

  • In December 2016, Community Servings was awarded a prestigious “Evidence for Action” grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study the impact of our medically tailored meal model on health outcomes and healthcare costs.  Community Servings is just one of 18 grantees nationwide.

  • We also presented our nutrition model at several national conferences and congressional briefings including: 2016 Medicaid Innovations Forum, 2016 House and Senate Congressional Briefings, 2016 Meals On Wheels of America conference and 2016 Root Cause Coalition conference. 

  • Additional articles about Community Servings’ innovative nutrition model were highlighted in Boston Magazine, Boston Business Journal, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Metro West Daily News and WBZ/CBS.

  • In October 2016, we co-hosted our fourth “Food Is Medicine” Symposium with Harvard Law School’s Center for Health with over 100 attendees and we are currently planning our fifth symposium for October 2017. 

Teaching Kitchen Food-Service Job Training Program

  • Over the past year we received 150 applications for 40 trainee spots. We accepted 54 and of those 36 enrolled and 31 (86%) graduated. Twenty-three (23) trainees elected to take the MA ServSafe exam, 15 (65%) passed this exam.

  • In 2016 achieved the highest 30-day job retention outcome to-date, in the nine-year history of the Teaching Kitchen program with 96% of placed graduates retaining their job for 30 days.

  • Among our trainees 100% were unemployed/underemployed, 100% were low-income, 65% were from communities of color, 45% were ex-offenders, 30% were women and 60% were homeless.

  • This year we worked closely with 45 different referral partners who referred potential trainees to our program, including The Work Place, JobNet, and Career Link. Other referral partners include: Access to Recovery, Boston Juvenile Re-Entry Initiative at Roxbury Youthworks, Youth Build, Youth Options Unlimited (YOU), Suffolk County Department of Corrections.  

  • We maintained relationships with 100 employment partners including hotels, hospitals, restaurants and smaller food-service facilities such as residential programs.

 

Challenges

We are actively engaged in building investment in our capital expansion project to create a 31,000 square foot "Food Campus" that will enable us to triple our capacity. The urgency for this capital expansion cannot be understated. Today, we have a waiting list of 150 individuals who have been medically certified as needing our medically tailored nutrition program. Our kitchen is operating at maximum designed capacity and we simply do not have enough slots to start clients who are in need upon referral. Clients are prioritized based on a framework of illness severity and isolation and many are on our waitlist for three to six months before starting our meals. For these sick and nutritionally vulnerable clients and their families, this waiting period is extremely difficult and often detrimental to their ability to manage their illness. 

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On behalf of Community Servings’ clients, volunteers, and staff, thank you again for your generosity. Over the past year we have had great success in our effort to prevent hunger among low-income individuals and families affected by critical illness. 

Over the past year, we have provided 598,711 medically tailored meals to over 2,021 individuals who were living with more than 25 different life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, renal disease, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis.  In addition, we experienced successful outcomes in our nutrition education, job-training, volunteer, local foods and food and health policy programs as detailed in the attached report.

Thank you again for your generous commitment to Community Servings and the clients we serve.  

Sincerely,

David B. Waters
CEO

 

MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Nutrition Program

  • Through our Nutrition Program for Individuals and Families Affected by Critical and Chronic Illnesses we provided 598,711 meals to 2,021 men, women and children in our program who were affected by a critical illness in fiscal year 2017, representing 109% of our meal projections and a 20% increase since 2015. 
  • More than 25,000 nutrition supplements and 750 Nausea Care Packs were provided to clients at the highest level of nutritional vulnerability.
  • Of those served, 92% were living in poverty and 50% were families. Eleven percent (11%) of our clients were 18 years old or younger. Seventy-four percent (74%) of those served were critically ill clients and 26% were dependents and caregivers.  Sixty-four percent (64%) of our clients were from racial/ethnic minorities.
  • 57% of clients who responded to our annual Client Survey, said that in the month before starting Community Servings’ nutrition program they were concerned about having enough food to eat for themselves and their family.  After starting our meals 72% said this was no longer a concern.  Additional results showed 70% reporting that our meals were helping them achieve their weight goals, 63% of the respondents said that their energy levels have increased or stabilized since they began receiving our meals and 65% reported that the meals were excellent or good at meeting their cultural preferences.
  • We maintained more than 200 referral partnerships with area health and social service organizations to ensure we are reaching clients and families living at the highest levels of nutritional vulnerability. 

 

Client Story
Ricardo is blind due to diabetes and also has kidney failure. When Ricardo and his wife lost their housing, they had to relocate to a motel with their five children because the homeless shelters were full. The motel had no kitchenette to prepare food so the family was unable to prepare meals for themselves.Enrolled in our nutrition program, Ricardo and his family now enjoy healthy, comforting lunches, dinners and snacks. Ricardo’s meals are tailored to help him cope with his illnesses. His children, who range in age from 5 to 13, dig into “kid-friendly” foods like our baked chicken and rice. We also deliver breakfast so Ricardo’s children do not go to school hungry.

 

Volunteer Program

  • Our kitchen is producing an average of 2,200 meals per day.  This would not have been possible without the help of 5,300 volunteers who donated over 54,000 hours over the fiscal year, helping us prepare, package and deliver our meals. 


Local Foods Program

  • Through our Local Foods program, we received 55,000 pounds of donated produce from eight local farms and sources.
  • Through a local foods grant, we have begun a new partnership with Red Tomato, a local food aggregator based in Plainville, MA that provides wholesale distribution from eight MA farms. Working with a local food aggregator will enable us to streamline purchasing of some products through one source and ensure our large produce orders can be filled.

 

Nutrition Education

  • Over the past year, we also exceeded our projections for nutrition education, delivering 6,000 hours of nutrition education to 2,400 individuals affected by critical or chronic illness.  This includes our successful “Farm to Fork” program that offers free shares of local produce from farm partners coupled with on-site nutrition education in our Nutrition Classroom. 

 

 “Food Is Medicine” Food & Health Policy Initiative

  • Our “Food is Medicine for Diabetes” research project, funded by BNY Mellon, MGH and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of MA, continues to progress with study results expected this summer and published in a peer reviewed medical journal.
  • In December 2016, Community Servings was awarded a prestigious “Evidence for Action” grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to study the impact of our medically tailored meal model on health outcomes and healthcare costs.  Community Servings is just one of 18 grantees nationwide.
  • We also presented our nutrition model at several national conferences and congressional briefings including: 2016 Medicaid Innovations Forum, 2016 House and Senate Congressional Briefings, 2016 Meals On Wheels of America conference and 2016 Root Cause Coalition conference. 
  • Additional articles about Community Servings’ innovative nutrition model were highlighted in Boston Magazine, Boston Business Journal, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Metro West Daily News and WBZ/CBS.
  • In October 2016, we co-hosted our fourth “Food Is Medicine” Symposium with Harvard Law School’s Center for Health with over 100 attendees and we are currently planning our fifth symposium for October 2017. 

 

Teaching Kitchen Food-Service Job Training Program

  • Over the past year we received 150 applications for 40 trainee spots. We accepted 54 and of those 36 enrolled and 31 (86%) graduated. Twenty-three (23) trainees elected to take the MA ServSafe exam, 15 (65%) passed this exam.
  • In 2016 achieved the highest 30-day job retention outcome to-date, in the nine-year history of the Teaching Kitchen program with 96% of placed graduates retaining their job for 30 days.
  • Among our trainees 100% were unemployed/underemployed, 100% were low-income, 65% were from communities of color, 45% were ex-offenders, 30% were women and 60% were homeless.
  • This year we worked closely with 45 different referral partners who referred potential trainees to our program, including The Work Place, JobNet, and Career Link. Other referral partners include: Access to Recovery, Boston Juvenile Re-Entry Initiative at Roxbury Youthworks, Youth Build, Youth Options Unlimited (YOU), Suffolk County Department of Corrections.  
  • We maintained relationships with 100 employment partners including hotels, hospitals, restaurants and smaller food-service facilities such as residential programs.

 

Challenges

We are actively engaged in building investment in our capital expansion project to create a 31,000 square foot "Food Campus" that will enable us to triple our capacity. The urgency for this capital expansion cannot be understated. Today, we have a waiting list of 150 individuals who have been medically certified as needing our medically tailored nutrition program. Our kitchen is operating at maximum designed capacity and we simply do not have enough slots to start clients who are in need upon referral. Clients are prioritized based on a framework of illness severity and isolation and many are on our waitlist for three to six months before starting our meals. For these sick and nutritionally vulnerable clients and their families, this waiting period is extremely difficult and often detrimental to their ability to manage their illness. 

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Preparing Meals
Preparing Meals

Thank you for your support of Community Servings' Nutrition Program for Individuals and Families Affected by Critical Illness.  Your support helps clients like Ricardo, bringing medically tailored meals to meet his health needs and improving his family's food security.  

Ricardo's Story

Ricardo is blind due to diabetes and also has kidney failure. When Ricardo and his wife lost their housing, they had to relocate their children and themselves to a motel because the homeless shelters were full. The motel had no kitchenette to prepare food so the family was unable to prepare hot meals for themselves. 

When we learned about this family, we knew we had to help. Since Ricardo's family doesn't have access to a refrigerator or oven, we figured out a way to bring them meals every day-as well as plates and silverware. Now, each day Ricardo and his family enjoy healthy, comforting lunches, dinners and snacks. Ricardo's meals are tailored to help him cope with his illnesses. His children, who range in age from 5 to 13, dig into "kid-friendly" foods like our baked chicken and rice. We also deliver breakfast for the kids so they don't go to school hungry.  

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Dear Friend

Community Servings is the story of a community coming together on behalf of our sick neighbors. Through a volunteer program which hosts 850 volunteers each month, a professional kitchen that gives ex-offenders and job-trainees a second chance, a nutrition program providing medically tailored critically ill clients, and community-wide special events involving hundreds of local chefs and restaurants, Community Servings has created and sustained a large community and powerful sense of caring for the critically ill. Together, we prepared and delivered 500,000 free meals to the critically ill last year!

We have much to be proud of and yet, we continually look to the future and how we can do “more.” There are more communities in need of our nutrition service, more clients to be served and client families to be fed, and more job-trainees to host and help find meaningful jobs. There is an epidemic of diet-related illnesses in Massachusetts and we are poised to leverage our expertise in nutrition care to lead a movement toward healthy eating and nutritional wellness.

Thank you for supporting our work.

Sincerely,

David Waters
CEO

Nutrition Care through Home-Delivered Meals

Through our service, we stand with our clients as they confront the biggest crisis of their lives:  battling an illness that is life threatening.  Five days a week, Community Servings delivers a customized, nutritionally-packed lunch, dinner, and snack to more individuals struggling with life-threatening illnesses throughout eastern Massachusetts, touching over 1,800 lives per year.  Each client’s meals are tailored by our Registered Dietitian, in consultation with clients and their healthcare provider, to offer specialized nutrition care – the correct balance of nutrients and calories to help the client to combat a specific disease, gain or maintain weight and muscle mass, and manage the effects of drugs and other powerful medical treatments.  Acting at the intersection of food and health, we provide 17 special diets – such as low-fat, low-vitamin-K, easy-to-swallow, and low-potassium, among others – that enable us to offer diet combinations that meet our clients’ individual, often complex dietary needs as well as their individual tastes.  Our meals help mitigate medications’ negative effects so our clients can benefit from medical treatments for longer periods.  For many of our clients, medications are not useful due to drug resistance, intolerable side effects, and allergies.  This leaves nutrition as one of their only tools in their struggle against the ravages of illness.

Our medically tailored meals, nutritional counseling, and client contact have an immediate impact on our clients, many of who would be hungry and alone without us.  As medically tailored nutrition keeps them healthier for longer periods, we help our clients avoid hospitalization and an accelerated decline in their health, keeping families together longer.  For our clients who are never able to leave our nutrition program due to deteriorating health, we give them dignity as they pass out of life by enabling them to stay at home for as long as possible. 

Impact

Based on our own experience and evaluation of our nutrition program, we know that our meals can improve energy, increase or maintain weight and reduce the toxic side effects of drug treatments among clients. Clients’ participation in our meal service will also result in increased awareness of the importance of nutrition in illness management. We also know that the food security that our meals provide contributes to a more stable home environment for the families we serve. Our expertise in nutrition care is evidenced by client data that demonstrates the medical impact of our meals. Based on recent client data, we anticipate the following outcomes: 560,000 meals will be served to 1,850 individuals affected by a critical illness, their caregivers and dependent children, 70% or more of our primary clients surveyed will report that our meals are helping them achieve their weight goals and energy goals. 60% of parent respondents will report that their stress levels have decreased or stabilized since their family began receiving our meals. Nutrition education opportunities will be offered to 100% of the families we serve. 80% will report they have received the nutrition information they need. This will include access to workshops, courses, and nutrition education materials for clients and family members.

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Volunteer_Photo
Volunteer_Photo

The past year has been a tremendous success in our effort to prevent hunger among low-income individuals and families affected by critical illness.  Your agency operations grant supported our ability to provide 545,600 medically-tailored meals to over 1,600 individuals over the past year who were living with more than 25 different life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, renal disease, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis.  More than 3,200 hours of nutrition education were provided to 1,800 individuals affected by critical or chronic illness.  An incredible 5,000 volunteers donated 51,000 hours helping to prepare, package and deliver these meals, the equivalent of 30 full-time employees. 

In FY16, we worked with more than 200 health and social service partners who referred patients and clients to Community Servings’ nutrition program for medically tailored meals, comprehensive client services, and nutrition education and counseling to men, women and children who are poor and living with such devastating critical illnesses as HIV/AIDS, breast and other cancers, multiple sclerosis, renal kidney disease and lupus. 

This includes clients like Lisa who, at age 30, was diagnosed with Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis in Quincy.  “I was 137 pounds.  I now weigh 110 pounds due to muscle wasting.  I am extremely bony and thin but I still have an appetite.  The food is good for me because I went from not eating to having three meals available to me each day.  We couldn’t, at the same time, care for my physical needs and do all that is required to prepare nutritious meals.”  

Thank you for your tremendous support!

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Organization Information

Community Servings

Location: Boston, MA - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Tobin Scipione
Jamaica Plain, MA United States
$3,746 raised of $50,000 goal
 
47 donations
$46,254 to go
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