The Family Meals Program
In the fall of 2014, HUDS began donating hot foods that were not eaten by the end of meal service to Food for Free. In the summer of 2017, they asked HUDS to support an enhancement to the donation program by adding a new element: taking the food from one dining hall, at the end of meal service, and portioning it into single serve meal containers called Family Meals. These meals could then be distributed to the many residential hotels and shelters in the area where food insecure individuals did not have traditional kitchen space to prepare healthy food.
In the 2017-18 school year, HUDS' food was used to prepare more than 2,500 such meals at our kitchen in Annenberg dining hall.
What We Do
The Family Meals program is led by two Food Literacy Project (FLP) Fellows, who coordinate with their student peers. At the Family Meals program, Fellows educate their classmates about the environmental and social context of food waste while serving food insecure families in the Cambridge and Greater Boston area (In the USA, roughly one third of food is wasted; at the same time, in Massachusetts, one in ten individuals are food insecure, meaning that they do not have consistent access to enough affordable, nutritious food).
At the Family Meals Program, volunteers work in Annenberg’s kitchens to repurpose leftover food into meals with dignity. In 90 minute sessions, student leaders teach volunteers about food security issues and help them prepare nutritionally diverse meals for the local community. Completed meals are then picked up by Food for Free and shared with families in the surrounding area.
How to help
The Family Meals Program is looking for interested leaders and volunteers. Meal plate-ups happen Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, from about 7:15-8:30pm. For a one-time volunteer opportunity, please sign up with a group here: bit.ly/familymealsprogram. Potential long-term volunteers can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers are limited to Harvard ID holders.