By: Lisa Prevost | August 27, 2018
BOSTON — The “food as medicine” philosophy has a simple goal: to control or cure chronic illness by changing what people eat. As the movement gains greater visibility, community meal programs are seeking bigger kitchens to meet demand.
Community Servings is a case in point. Its mission to nourish the sick in the greater Boston began 28 years ago during the AIDS epidemic, when volunteers set up meal deliveries for people suffering from the weight loss called wasting syndrome.
Today, the nonprofit organization has 60 employees and thousands of volunteers who help cook and deliver meals tailored to the dietary needs of clients managing various life-threatening conditions, including diabetes, kidney disease and cancer. And Community Servings is poised to nearly triple its meal production with a $21 million expansion of its headquarters in Jamaica Plain, a Boston neighborhood.
When completed next year, the 31,000-square-foot “food campus” will house a kitchen large enough to prepare as many as 1.5 million meals a year, healthful entrees that these days include quinoa burgers, turkey tender Parmesan and sweet potato lentil soup. The facility will also include a learning kitchen for job training, classrooms for nutrition education and a policy center focused on teaching other groups how to replicate the organization’s model.