Community Servings Breaks Ground on ‘Food Campus’

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Community Servings Breaks Ground on ‘Food Campus’
Boston Mayor, Mass. DPH Commissioner Join Nonprofit to Celebrate Start of $21 Million Project That Will Triple Medically Tailored Meal Deliveries to Chronically Ill People

BOSTON (May 30, 2018) – Community Servings, a nonprofit provider of medically tailored meals and nutrition services to individuals and families living with critical and chronic illnesses, broke ground today on an expansion project that will broaden its caring mission and its leadership role in furthering the power of food as medicine.

The $21 million “Food Campus,” now under construction on the site of Community Servings’ headquarters in Jamaica Plain, consists of a three-story addition and kitchen expansion in the existing space. The 31,000-square-foot project will enable the organization to triple the production of medically tailored meals to meet increasing demand, double the capacity for daily volunteers, and double the number of food service job training graduates.

“We are extremely excited about our project, especially with how the new building’s design will open up our organization to the community like never before,” said David B. Waters, CEO of Community Servings. “Tall windows will afford views of the dynamic work of our daily volunteers, while new classrooms will provide ample space for nutrition education and job training for our neighbors. Most importantly, we will be able to increase the number of meals we make and deliver to feed those in need.”

Community Servings hosted a groundbreaking ceremony with Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Massachusetts Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel, along with other key philanthropic supporters of the Food is the Foundation capital campaign, which to date has surpassed 80 percent of its $10 million fundraising goal. This private capital combined with equity raised from New Markets Tax Credits, private debt from community development lenders, and funding from the City of Boston will pay for the construction and expansion of Community Servings.

“Community Servings is an organization that provides more than food. It is a community that understands the needs of people and families who are experiencing critical and chronic illnesses, and provides them with the comfort of knowing that someone cares,” said Mayor Walsh. “I am

excited to celebrate with Community Servings as they break ground on their new headquarters in Jamaica Plain where they will be able to triple their production and double the capacity for volunteers, spreading more hope than ever.”

“We are proud of our decades-long relationship with Community Servings and look forward to seeing this important work reach more residents of Massachusetts in this new building and improve their health and the quality of their lives,” said Commissioner Bharel.

Key features of the new facility include:

A Learning Kitchen that will accommodate up to 24 students for job training and nutrition classes, and include video capabilities for nutrition education seminars.
A Family-Friendly Volunteer Kitchen that will allow individuals of different abilities and families with young children to volunteer in meal preparation and packaging.
A Baking Kitchen that will produce desserts for special diet clients in-house, saving on the cost of purchased desserts while adding a baking component to the job-training program.
• A Food & Health Policy Center that will focus on research into medically tailored meals and health care, and replicating the Community Servings model on a national scale.

Community Servings has experienced a 40 percent growth in demand for its medically tailored meals over the last five years. At any given time, 50 to 150 people are on the organization’s waitlist. The need is expected to grow even more as health providers and insurers recognize how medically tailored meals can help improve patient health while reducing the cost of care for vulnerable people.

The project is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2019. Community Servings has engaged an experienced and talented group of partners to lead the design and development of the Food Campus, including construction manager Shawmut Design and Construction, development adviser QPD, architect Jacobs, engineer Bohler Engineering, environmental adviser Ransom Consulting, and financial adviser Affirmative Investments. In addition, the law firms Brown Rudnick LLP and Greenberg Traurig LLP provided pro bono legal services for the project.

The project’s lenders include Cambridge Savings Bank, City of Boston, Low Income Investment Fund, Nonprofit Finance Fund, PNC Financial Services Group, and the Property and Casualty Initiative. The federal New Markets Tax Credits program and the federal Healthy Food Finance Initiative are critical components of the project financing.

“The community development lenders are proud partners in this project because of its great promise for improving health outcomes for chronically ill people and Community Servings’ outreach to the whole community, including utilizing locally grown products and expanding

impactful hiring plans and job-training programs,” said Kirsten Shaw, director of the northeastern region for the Low Income Investment Fund in New York.

For more information about the project and how to support the Food is the Foundation capital campaign, please visit www.servings.org/foodisthefoundation. 

About Community Servings
Community Servings is a not-for-profit organization with a 28-year history of providing medically tailored meals and nutrition services to individuals and families coping with critical and chronic illnesses like HIV/AIDS, cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease, and others. The meals are made-from-scratch and home-delivered, sending the message to those in greatest need that someone cares. Community Servings helps its clients maintain their health and dignity and preserve the integrity of their families through free, culturally appropriate meals, nutrition education and counseling, and other community programs. For more information, visit www.servings.org.

 

 

 

Falmouth bands together to create more housing

Over the next two years, the Falmouth Housing Corporation hopes to add 20 single-bedroom units of workforce housing on Gifford Street, with consulting from Affirmative Investments. The units will be rented at affordable rates. Small, affordable units for local workers have been a consistent need in the town of Falmouth. The board of Selectmen Chairwoman Susan Moran called the proposal “a great move forward for Falmouth.” The project will be built in two phases, and monthly rents will range from $808 to $1,150, depending on the applicants income. All utilities are included in the rent. FHC submitted an application to the Department of Housing and Community Development seeking funding for Phase 1, which calls for 10 units in two buildings and is estimated to cost $2.5 million. The selectmen and Community Preservation Committee agreed to pitch in $650,000 from the town’s affordable housing fund last week. The board acts as the fund’s trustees. The cost of Phase 1 was driven up by the need to install all necessary infrastructure for the whole project, including a septic system. Phase 2 is expected to cost less. To read more on the Gifford Workforce Housing project click here.

 

 

 

 

UTEC Celebrates Ribbon Cutting of Nancy L. and Richard K. Donahue Hub For Social Innovation

UTEC hosted hundreds of people for a celebratory, energetic ribbon cutting of their new facility named Nancy L. and Richard K. Donahue Hub for Social Innovation. The ribbon cutting featured tours of the building, a DJ and, in place of a red carpet, an orange one- the organization’s main color- made from UTEC recycled mattresses. The building located on 17 Warren St., was purchased by UTEC about two years ago from the Lowell Community Health Center. Public and private sources particularly the Donahues for which it is named, contributed a total of about $2.5 million to fund its renovation. The center hosts several features, professional childcare is available for UTEC families free of charge. The third floor will hold various programs and activities, while the bottom floor is a large industrial kitchen that will host not only UTEC work but various community groups as well. The kitchen in the bottom floor has space for several different simultaneous activities. One corner holds equipment for UTEC Cafe workers to make homemade nut butter, which will soon be available for sale. Other areas can be booked for use by startups, budding entrepreneurs, schools and nonprofits.Once tours concluded Thursday, the several hundred attendees gathered in the new center’s third floor to hear remarks by local leaders, UTEC participants and members of Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration. To read more on UTEC and its new facility the Nancy L. and Richard K. Donahue Hub for Social Innovation click here.

Ribbon cutting and dedication of the Nancy L. and Richard K. Donahue UTEC Hub for Social Innovation. Ribbon cutting including UTEC CEO Gregg Croteau, far left, and Philip Donahue, his mother Nancy Donahue, and Gov. Charlie Baker, center. (SUN/Julia Malakie)

New sign unveiled remotely from inside at the ribbon cutting and dedication of the Nancy L. and Richard K. Donahue UTEC Hub for Social Innovation. UTEC cutting boards for sale. (SUN/Julia Malakie)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Tech Chelsea Home is helping People with ALS Live Longer

Leonard Florence Center for Living in Chelsea, MA places people who’ve been diagnosed with one the most cruel and debilitating diseases known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis(ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The residents living with these diseases are living a longer and more meaningful lives than ever thought possible. The place is wired with computers that help residents do things their hands can’t do. The individual components of the system are off-the -shelf stuff and just need Wi-Fi and a browser to function. Patients who are able to move their heads are able to aim at an infrared dot on the wall that lets them call for elevators and doors.  For residents who can’t move their heads, they’re able to send commands with just small eye movements. Theres two floors dedicated to ALS members, with 10 beds on each floor. Each floor has a common pristine kitchen, long woodblock dining table, living room area with a complete electric fire place. Residents are able to control the lights, window shades, thermostat, TV and home theater, and any electric devices like a fan directly from their computer screens. CEO Barry Berman says he wants residents to be treated with dignity. Due to the quality care given to the residents, they’re able to live well beyond their prognoses. To read more more about Leonard Florence center and one of the residents, Steve Sailing personal experience at the facility click here.

Community Servings study shows medically tailored meals reduce healthcare costs

A new study published by the journal Health Affairs, Community Servings medically tailored meals reduce healthcare cost by 16 percent. Funded by the AARP foundation and undertaken in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital and the community-based health plan Commonwealth Care Alliance, are the first to demonstrate how providing made-from- scratch, medically tailored meals to critically and chronically ill individuals can lead to fewer costly emergency department visits and hospital admissions. CEO of Community Servings said, “this rigorous study reinforces our belief that there is significant potential for improved health outcomes and cost savings in health plans cover medically tailored meals for patients with complex health issues”. In the last five years Community Servings has experienced a 40% growth in the demand for their medically tailored meals and often carries a waitlist of over 100 potential patients in need of meals. To learn more about Community Servings and read more on the Recipe for Health of Success click here.

A.I 2017 Project Closings

Affirmative closed a total of 15 projects in 2017:

1.Landfall Apartments (East Boston, MA) December 28, 2017

2. Mill 19 (Pittsburgh, PA)
December 21, 2017

3. East Ohio St. Hotel (Pittsburgh, PA)
December 13, 2017

4. Mt. Pleasant Home (Jamaica Plain, MA)
November 30, 2017

5. EBNHC PACE (East Boston, MA)
October 12, 2017

6. High Line (Pittsburgh, PA)
September 30, 2017

7. School House Electric (Pittsburgh, MA)
Septermber 22, 2017

8. Artists for Humanity (South Boston, MA)September 20, 2017

9. Paris Village Apartments (East Boston, MA)
August 01, 2017

10. Harmon Apartments (Boston, MA)
June 23, 2017

11. Lincoln Park Senior (Darmouth, MA)May 10, 2017

12. South Coast Marketplace (Fall River, MA)
May 02, 2017

13. West End House Boys & Girls Club (Allston, MA)
April 04, 2017

14. Bartlett Place Building B (Boston, MA)
March 03, 2017

15. Womens Center & Shelter (Pittsburgh, PA)
March 01, 2017

Paris Village $14 Million Groundbreaking Celebration

Wednesday August 9, 2017- Mayor Martin J. Walsh joined East Boston Community Development Corporation, East Boston Residents, and local elected officials to celebrate the groundbreaking for Paris Village, a $14 million residential community that features 32 affordable apartments for working families in East Boston. Affirmative Investments assisted EBCDC Inc. as financial consultant, and structured the combination of Federal and State Low Income Housing Tax Credits, DHCD HOME funds, Housing Stabilization funds, AHT funds, City of Boston funds, and first mortgage. Mayor Walsh said, “I want to thank our partners for their work to make these homes possible”. To read and learn more about Paris Village Apartments, click here.

affirmative investments

City Celebrates groundbreaking of $15.4 Million Harmon Apartments

August 08, 2017- The Boston Home celebrated groundbreaking of its new 36 units of accessible, mixed-income independent housing with supportive services designed to promote independence for adults with significant disabilities. Mayor Martin J. Walsh, State Senator Linda Dorcena Forry, local elected officials and members of the disability community were special attendees at the groundbreaking. Affirmative Investments is co-developers, with The Boston Home on the project. To read and learn more about Harmon Apartments click here.affirmative investment projects

UTEC Secret to Social Enterprise’s Success Springs from Old Mattresses

February 24, 2017- UTEC mattress recycling program services picks up, deconstructs and recycles mattresses from across northern New England. UTEC makes most of its money on the fees it charges for picking up old mattresses from hotels, towns and colleges, but its business model isn’t about saving matresses from landfills and incinerators. It’s about recycling the lives of young gang members and inmates who work there. UTEC has a commercial kitchen cafe, and a woodworking factory where young workers turn out cutting boards for Whole Foods. But everyone starts out in mattresses. With team work UTEC is able to tear through 25,000 mattresses a year. It’s estimated there are 30 youth gangs in Lowell area, with 1,500 members. UTEC sends out teams of gang-savvy street workers into jails to do outreach and encourage those with criminal records and troubled histories to join the social, educational and employment programs UTEC offers. To read more on UTEC’s mattress recycling program Click Here.

affirmative investments

A Home for Homeless Services

February 08, 2017- Affirmative Investments is helping Horizons for Homeless Children and Watermark Development secure and structure financing for a new seven-story building for social service agencies. The new construction 135,000 square feet build is slated for construction on Colombus Ave on the Roxbury/ Jamaica Plain line.