Community Servings: Medically Tailored Meal Spotlight

by Editorial Staff

What they do: Fueled by a belief in the “astonishing power of food,” Community Servings, a nonprofit organization based in the Boston area, prepares and delivers scratch-made, medically tailored meals to individuals living with critical or chronic illnesses and their families. Initially founded with the goal of supporting individuals living with HIV/AIDS, Community Servings has made more than 10 million meals for people suffering from critical and chronic illness throughout its more than thirty year history. Community Servings also conducts NIH-funded studies of the impact of using food as medicine in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. 

How they do it: Community Servings creates an individualized care plan for every new client, which begins with a comprehensive nutrition screening by the organization’s team of registered dietician nutritionists. Based on this assessment, the nutrition team prescribes a combination of up to three of the Community Serving’s 15 medical diets. Tailored for patients from HIV/AIDS, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, and other chronic conditions, each Community Servings menu  is also designed to contain healthy fats and minimal salt, provide 50-67 percent of daily nutrition, and meet client’s culturally-specific food needs. Community Servings delivers or ships their medically-tailored menus to individuals and families across Massachusetts and in select areas of Rhode Island, providing five lunches and five dinners a week for each patient as well as for their primary caregiver (often a parent or spouse) and all children under 18 in their household. 

Mission: To actively engage the community to provide medically-tailored, nutritious, scratch-made meals to chronically and critically ill individuals and their families.

Latest project/campaign: Each fall, Community Servings runs a Pie in the Sky fundraising campaign. Now in its twenty-ninth year, Pie in the Sky relies on the support of more than 150 Boston-area professional bakers who donate thousands of scratch-made pies to Community Servings. Each $30 pie purchased pays for a week’s worth of medically-tailored meals to a Community Servings client. Pre-pandemic, Community Servings sold roughly 25,000 pies annually, raising more than $850,000 to provide tens of thousands of meals to community members and families confronting serious illnesses.

Major Funding: Donations from corporations, foundations, and individuals, including the Dan and Terese Heintzelman Family Foundation, Liberty Mutual Foundation, The Manton Foundation, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, the Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation, the family of Bob and Joan Parker, and Barbara and Amos Hostetter.

Profit/nonprofit: Nonprofit

Annual Budget: $13.5 million

Interesting fact about how it is working to positively affect the food system: In a testament to the organization’s emphasis on health equity, 92 percent of their clients live in poverty and 60 percent identify as Black or Latinx.  


Community Servings
179 Amory St
Boston, MA 02130

Core Programs: Meal Delivery, Nutrition Education, Job Training, Volunteer, Local Foods

Number of staff: 71

Number of volunteers: 600+ per month

Areas served: Massachusetts

Year Started: 1989

CEO: David B. Waters

Contact Information:

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