Cooperative for Human Services continues to provide services and supports to an ever-increasing number of individuals in their homes and CHS residential programs. In November 2017, the organization established a Food Pantry to provide people served with no-cost food so that everyone has access to good nutrition and healthy options.

Recently, the organization expanded its partnership with the Food Donation Connection, a national non-profit matching company, and began to work directly with two well-known hospitality destinations, The Cheesecake Factory and Chipotle Restaurants, Burlington, MA. These partnerships increase the company’s ability to offer pre-cooked food and dinner entrees to individuals who may have poor cooking skills or are attempting to successfully manage a meager food budget.

The Food Pantry continued to expand its food distribution this summer when the organization doubled the size and capacity of its organic vegetable gardens. The company’s urban garden plot in Malden, MA also yielded a larger variety of vegetables that were distributed through the Food Pantry. In both locations, individuals learned about growing, nurturing and harvesting fresh produce as well as how to incorporate fresh vegetables as part of their daily food intake.

Several long-standing CHS cooking groups benefited from the Food Pantry and the garden-fresh produce.  Participants eagerly awaited vegetable deliveries which then influenced menu choices for what was to be prepared for that evening. People not only prepared the food, but also communed over good food and transported food home for another meal later in the week.

Through the Food Pantry, individuals have an opportunity to be introduced to new dining experiences that are often times outside the scope of their normal weekly food budgets. Roasted duck, goose pate, chutney, organic yogurt and brie cheese are just a few examples.

Food security — having access to enough food for an active, healthy life, is one of the many important components that Cooperative For Human Services provides through its Food Pantry, expanded business partnerships and organic farming sites.