Community Servings, Inc.

Food Heals

Jamaica Plain, MA   |  www.servings.org

Mission

Community Servings’ mission is to actively engage the community to provide scratch-made medically tailored meals to individuals and their families experiencing critical or chronic illness and nutrition insecurity. We commit, in all our programs and business practices, to prioritize racial and economic justice and health equity.

Ruling year info

1992

CEO

Mr. David B. Waters

Main address

179 Amory St.

Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

22-3154028

NTEE code info

Food Service, Free Food Distribution Programs (K30)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Food insecurity and poor nutrition are key social determinants of health that have profound impacts on an individual’s health and wellbeing. According to Feeding America and the U.S. Census Household Pulse Survey for 2020, since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, rates of food insecurity have doubled across the Commonwealth. At present, more than one million Massachusetts residents are affected by food insecurity, including one in five households with children. Food security can be improved for many individuals through access to food pantries, congregate meal sites, and food assistance programs (such as SNAP and WIC). Unfortunately, these supports are often inaccessible and insufficient for those who are severely ill and immunocompromised. For this population, Community Servings’ home-delivered meals tailored to specific disease(s) are critical to promoting health, food security, economic well-being, and quality of life.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Medically Tailored Nutrition Program

This year, Community Servings will prepare, package, and deliver 875,000 medically tailored, made-from-scratch meals to the homes of 3,800 clients, their dependent children, and caregivers affected by critical and chronic illnesses across Massachusetts. This reflects continued growth that is driven by the skyrocketing rates of food insecurity stemming from the COVID-19 crisis. We are focused on expanding and deepening our presence in Massachusetts communities that have experienced systemic underinvestment.

Community Servings is the only provider of medically tailored meals in Massachusetts. 92% of our clients are experiencing poverty, living at 200% or less of the Federal Poverty Level, and 63% identify as Black, Latinx, or Asian. Referred to us by more than 200 health and social service agencies, all of our clients are immunocompromised, mobility-impaired, and too sick to shop/cook for themselves or access other nutrition services, such as a congregate meal site or food pantry.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses
Economically disadvantaged people

Community Servings’ Teaching Kitchen program is a free, twelve-week culinary job training program that provides a supportive pathway to permanent employment in the foodservice industry for individuals experiencing multiple, major barriers to employment such as criminal records, substance use disorder, and homelessness. Over the next year, we will serve up to 88 individuals through our recently-redesigned Teaching Kitchen program: 48 trainees will enroll in one of our job training sessions to build and bolster their foodservice, job readiness, and life skills; additional job development and placement support will be provided to up to 40 recent program graduates to improve their employment outcomes. All eligible trainees will receive earned training wages of up to $5,000.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Incarcerated people
Substance abusers

To provide increased nutritional benefits to our clients, Community Servings is committed to using fresh, local foods, while supporting and collaborating with local farmers. This year, we will expand our Local Foods program and retrieve and purchase more than 120,000lbs of local, fresh foods provided by 13 local farms, fisheries, and suppliers.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses
Economically disadvantaged people

Community Servings offers nutrition education for clients and individuals in the community who are nutritionally vulnerable, with the goal of teaching participants how to maintain and improve their health through the food choices they make and techniques they use to prepare food at home. This year, our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists will provide 8,500 hours of nutrition education to our clients, family members, and community members affected by or at risk for critical or chronic illness through virtual classes, workshops, one-on-one phone counseling, monthly newsletters, and nutrition assessments. This includes our recently-launched “Learning Kitchen Live” program, a robust virtual program combining healthy cooking demonstrations and simple, informative lessons on nutrition.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses
Adults

As part of this initiative, we have undertaken robust research studies in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine. Our largest study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine in April 2019, and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Evidence for Action program, found that participation in a medically tailored meals program was associated with fewer hospital admissions and nursing home admissions, and less overall medical spending. The study estimated a 16.4% reduction in average monthly medical costs for individuals receiving meals from Community Servings. These research results are consistent with those of our other studies, published in the journals Health Affairs, BMC Endocrine Disorders, and the Journal of General Internal Medicine. This research forms the foundation for our advocacy work at the national level, as we work to integrate medically tailored meals into the clinical structure of healthcare.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
People with diseases and illnesses

Where we work

Awards

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, People with diseases and illnesses, People with HIV/AIDS

Related Program

Medically Tailored Nutrition Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Our clients are affected by more than 35 different types of illnesses, such as HIV, cancer, and diabetes. Of those served, 92% are living in poverty, 63% identify as BIPOC or Latinx.

Number of meals delivered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Economically disadvantaged people, People with diseases and illnesses

Related Program

Medically Tailored Nutrition Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Community Servings’ overarching goal is to meet the immediate nutritional needs of our clients and their families experiencing severe illness and food insecurity. Our objectives are as follows:
1. Improve our clients’ health, ability to remain at-home, and quality of life.
2. Promote our clients’ and their families’ economic well-being by providing nutritious food to the whole family.
3. Reduce client and caregiver stress and bring dignity to our clients and their families.

Underlying all of our work is a commitment to building racial equity and social justice in Greater Boston by:
- Targeting communities that have historical and underlying factors that impact social determinants of health such as systemic racism, healthy food access and nutrition literacy, financial instability, and access and quality of healthcare.
- Improving earnings and employment outcomes among those impacted by multiple, major barriers to employment through our Teaching Kitchen job training program.
- Prioritizing the creation of a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace that is reflective of the community we serve.

1. Expand Home-Delivery of Medically Tailored Meals: continue to expand our nutrition program, generating the resources and capacity to produce 1.2M medically tailored meals annually in our new Food Campus, reaching more individuals and their family members affected by severe illness and poverty. This includes continuing to deepen our presence in Massachusetts communities that have experienced systemic underinvestment.

2. Increase Nutrition Education & Counseling: expand our on and off-site nutrition education opportunities for our clients and the broader community of those affected by or at risk for critical or chronic illness.

3. Engage in “Food is Medicine” Policy Advocacy: continue to leverage our expertise in the fields of nutrition and health to advance the integration of medically tailored meals into healthcare payment and delivery models. Conduct additional research that further supports the impact of our home-delivered medically tailored meal model on health outcomes and cost savings.

History and Expertise: Over our 31-year history, Community Servings has provided more than 10 million medically tailored meals to thousands of individuals affected by critical and chronic illnesses. Community Servings is unique within the region; no other agency provides comparable medically tailored meals, particularly with regard to the diversity of chronic disease populations served and the number, variety, and combinations of medically tailored meals offered. 

Recognition for our Work: Nationally, Community Servings has received the respect of colleagues in our field and public recognition for our work. We regularly present data on our nutrition model at national conferences. Furthermore, we have published the results of four research publications in the academic journals BMC Endocrine Disorders, JAMA- Internal Medicine, Health Affairs, and the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Food is Medicine Thought Leadership & Collaborations: Community Servings is a thought leader in the field of ‘Food is Medicine’ and we have taken on a leadership role, regionally and nationally, in advocating for the role of medically tailored meals as an innovative component of integrated care for the severely ill. Community Servings is a founding member of the Food is Medicine Massachusetts coalition, and the national Food Is Medicine Coalition, a coalition of 27 nutrition agencies formed for the purpose of advocating for sustainable funding sources and shared research. In partnership with God's Love We Deliver, the Food is Medicine Coalition, Nonprofit Finance Fund, and the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation of Harvard Law School, we launched a national Food is Medicine Accelerator in 2020. The goal of the Accelerator is to scale the medically tailored meal model across the United States to ensure that people coping with food insecurity and severe illness have access to medically tailored meals, regardless of where they reside. The Accelerator provides an intensive, 12-month technical assistance program for cohorts of 4-5 agencies in states or regions that have no access to medically tailored meals.

Research: In 2020, we were awarded two tremendous, five-year “R01” research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). With these funding awards, we are expanding upon our previous research to conduct two key studies investigating the impact of medically tailored meals on individuals affected by Type 2 diabetes and HIV. This research forms the foundation for our advocacy work at the national level, as we work to integrate medically tailored meals into the clinical structure of healthcare.

Funding Partners: Thousands of individual donors, foundations such as the Yawkey Foundation and the Cummings Foundation, along with corporate donors and sponsors including Citizens Bank, Liberty Mutual, and State Street provide the resources needed to meet the demands of our mission.

The publication of our four research studies has been transformative for Community Servings. This body of outcomes-based research is strengthening our case with new and current insurers who are contracting with us for our medically tailored meals to lower the health costs and improve health outcomes for their patients. By building the evidence base for our nutrition model, we are making a compelling return-on-investment (ROI) case to expand contracts within healthcare. This expands our ability to bring our medically tailored meal model to those who are sick and food insecure. We currently have contracts with eleven MassHealth ACOs through the Flexible Services program, an initiative through the state’s Medicaid program to provide additional nutrition and housing supports to eligible members. Since the start of the Flexible Services program in March 2020, more than 1,800 MassHealth ACO members have been referred to Community Servings. Looking ahead, we will continue to work to integrate home-delivered meals into the health care delivery system as a matter of good public health and cost containment.

Building on these research and policy efforts, Community Servings partnered with The Center for Health Law & Policy Innovation at Harvard Law School to launch the Massachusetts Food is Medicine Statewide Plan, the first such state plan in the nation. The plan aims to increase access to medically tailored Food is Medicine interventions across the state by convening healthcare providers, payers, and policy leaders and conducting cutting-edge research.

Our nutrition program continues to experience significant growth. In fiscal year 2021, we served 798,137 medically tailored, made-from-scratch meals to 3,512 clients, their dependent children and caregivers affected by critical and chronic illness. The COVID-19 public health crisis resulted in skyrocketing rates of food insecurity across Massachusetts, creating immediate, urgent demand for our medically tailored meals. Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, we have increased our monthly meal production by 75%, from 42,000 to 74,000+ meals prepared and delivered each month for our clients and community members.

As a result of the COVID-19 crisis and accompanying economic disruption, rates of food insecurity are expected to remain at historic levels for years, with long-term health consequences. Community Servings is planning for a long-term response and recovery, continuing to expand our nutrition program, especially in those communities that have faced systemic underinvestment and those that have been hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Community Servings serves individuals impacted by food insecurity and critical and chronic illnesses such as cancer, chronic kidney disease, HIV, and diabetes. All of our clients are medically certified as too sick to shop/cook for themselves or access other nutrition services, such as a congregate meal site or food pantry. Our client data shows: - 92% of our clients are experiencing poverty. - 63% identify as Black, Latinx, or Asian, 37% identify as white. - Our clients are battling more than 35 different types of serious illnesses. 48% of our clients have multiple illnesses/co-morbidities. The most common illnesses our clients are affected by are: cardiovascular illnesses (53%), diabetes (54%), and HIV (21%). - 39% are older adults (age 60+). - 11% are experiencing homelessness.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Case management notes, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In response to client feedback as well as updated nutritional standards as recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services and the USDA, our Registered Dietitian Nutritionists revamped our medically tailored meal diets in 2019. This includes the addition of a Pescatarian diet choice (a vegetarian diet that includes fish) and the modification and elimination of a few diets. The resulting 15 diets (e.g. cardiac, renal), which can be combined in up to three different diet combinations, are more closely aligned with nutritional recommendations as it applies to the management of specific illnesses, and are better able to meet our clients’ nutritional needs and preferences.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    For more than 15 years, Community Servings has administered an annual Client Survey, asking clients about their satisfaction with all aspects of our nutrition service, and collecting data on a wide variety of self-reported outcomes. Community Servings also collects client feedback through nutrition assessments/reassessments and during nutrition counseling sessions. This feedback informs the adaptation of our program and model. By soliciting feedback from our clients on a regular basis and acting on clients’ input/suggestions, we send the message to our clients that they have a voice and power. Clients are not passive recipients of our services, but participants who have strengths and assets and an integral role to play in our home-delivered, medically tailored meal program.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Community Servings, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Community Servings, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 11/23/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Peter Zane

Diane Moes

Michela Larson

Michela Larson, LLC

Amy Gorin

Community Activist

Larry Moulter

UMASS Boston

Beverly Edgehill

The TJX Companies, Inc.

Rick Musiol

New England Aquarium

Ken Tutunjian

Coldwell Banker

Liliana Bachrach

Community Leader

Maureen Goggin

Mass General Brigham

Eric Weil

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Cityblock Health

Garrett Harker

Eastern Standard Provisions

Thea James

Boston Medical Center / Boston University School of Medicine

Diane Leclair

Greenberg, Rosenblatt, Kull & Bitsoli, P.C.

J. Kirk Smith

Sharon McNally

Camp Harbor View Foundation / Connors Family Office

Brian Lagarto

Retired

Lyzzette Bullock

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts

Catherine Matthews

Old North Church

Fredi Shonkoff

Executive & Leadership Coach

Aretha Davis

Nous Foundation

Dave Farwell

Citizens Bank

Mehrdad Noorani

Malisa Schuyler

Beth Israel Lahey Health

Stephen Bertolami

Liberty Mutual Insurance

Sophia Hall

Lawyers for Civil Rights

Greg Wilmot

East Boston Neighborhood Health Center

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/23/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/25/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.