This evening Seth and I are volunteering on behalf of Lovin Spoonfuls, Boston’s top food rescue organization, and we’ll be working at Community Servings, an organization that feeds people with terminal illnesses. Not only does Community Servings offer food to the hungry, they provide very well-prepared meals using fresh ingredients. These include 8,200 lunches and dinners each week to to individuals who are homebound with an acute life-threatening illness and their families . That’s a lot of food and we’re happy to help.
I support Lovin Spoonfuls whenever possible because it addresses several of my interests: (1) I love food and cooking; (2) I hate waste; (3) I like to help people. So when @LovinFoodRescue sent an email asking for help this evening, both of us said yes.
I have always wanted to help Lovin Spoonfuls go around and pick up surplus food, whether from farms, markets, or restaurants, but had to face the reality that my back would not be happy with lifting heavy sacks and crates over and over again. I had to downsize my expectations accordingly and I try to help through social media and my blog. Last year my readers helped Lovin Spoonfuls to win a truck in a contest sponsored by Toyota. Two years ago, my friend Alane Airosus and I volunteered to serve at the big Lovin Spoonfuls fund-raising auction, which was quite an experience.
Tonight @CommunityServ in Jamaica Plain, though, Seth and I will be either preparing some of the food that Lovin Spoonfuls dropped off yesterday or packaging meals for delivery, depending on what they need for that shift. It should be interesting.
I’ll follow up with pictures and a report on how it went. In the meantime, here is more information on both organizations:
Mission Statement: “Community Servings is a not-for-profit food and nutrition program providing services throughout Massachusetts to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses. We give our clients, their dependent families, and caregivers appealing, nutritious meals, and send the message to those in greatest need that someone cares. Our goals are to help our clients maintain their health and dignity and preserve the integrity of their families through free, culturally appropriate, home-delivered meals, nutrition education, and other community programs.”
What They Do: “With the help of hundreds of volunteers, business, and corporate sponsors, and our dedicated staff and board members, we prepare and deliver 8,200 lunches and dinners each week to the homes of almost 875 individuals and families who are homebound with an acute life-threatening illness.”
Volunteer Opportunities: “Whether you’re a retiree, baby boomer, or member of Gen X or Y who is available two hours, two months, or two years … morning, afternoon, or evening … week day or weekend — Community Servings has a volunteer opportunity for you! Prepare and package meals in our kitchen, deliver meals to our clients, assist with our special events, or help in our offices with administrative tasks.
- To learn more, please contact Malissa Harmon, Volunteer Management Coordinator, at email@example.com or (617) 522-7777, ext. 227.
What They Do: “We pick up wholesome, fresh food that would otherwise be thrown away from grocery stores, produce wholesalers, farms and farmers markets, and distribute it to community non-profits that feed Greater Boston’s hungry.”
Volunteer Opportunities: “Handling fresh and prepared food requires compliance with regulations set forth by the state of Massachusetts and Lovin’ Spoonfuls employs professional drivers who are licensed, insured, and ServSafe certified. We are currently unable to take volunteers for food rescue due to these strict regulations. However, there are ample opportunities to get involved in our work:
- We love to have volunteers for events and fundraising days – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about upcoming events;
- Ask your local grocery store how they handle food waste and if they’d be interested in partnering with us;
- Let us know if there is a potential donor in your area that we should be aware of;
- Donate money to help keep our trucks on the road and keep providing wholesome food to those who need it most.”
You can get involved with these organizations by going to their websites and checking out opportunities for volunteering your time, donating food, or donating funds to help their efforts. Or just forward this blog post, my tweets, or my FaceBook posts to people you know who might be interested in volunteering or supporting these two immensely helpful organizations.
In the meantime, I’m happy to know that our efforts tonight will help sick people and their families to eat good nutritious meals.