Posted by on Mar 9, 2015 in All, Boston, Mission + Service, Student Life | 0 comments

This morning, the group of students split to serve at two service sites. One, Pine Street Inn, an organization founded in 1969 that provides not only emergency and transitional shelter, but permanent supportive housing, meals, outreach, job training and placement, mental health support and substance abuse treatment, and various social enterprises that get homeless men and women back into the workforce. Our ASB group spent the morning preparing meals in the kitchen.

The second group traveled to Community Servings, a nonprofit food and nutrition program that provides meals to individuals in Massachusetts who are living with critical and chronic illnesses (as well as their families and caregivers). And the meals ARE good. Executive chef Kevin Connor, who oversees the preparation, cooking, packaging, handling and storage of 4,000 daily meals tailored to meet the needs of more than 25 different diets, has experience at some of the region’s most well-known restaurants, including No. 9 Park, Radius, Union Bar Grille in Boston and Al Forno in Providence. Prior to Community Servings, he was the Executive Chef at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston! The message to the clients is that someone cares. Our volunteer coordinator, Malissa, spoke on the importance of sanitation and hygiene (and had all of us repeating her “Hand wash, glove change,” mantra) as well as presentation. The instructions were simple, “If it isn’t something you would want to eat, don’t serve it to someone else.”

Another component of the trip is that students have the opportunity to become familiar with parts of Boston they may have never visited before, something that was obvious as we tried to navigate from Andrew Station to the Greater Boston Food Bank. Our task once we arrived? Labeling and sorting A LOT of pie. Like, more pie than you can imagine, boxes and boxes of apple, cherry and peach! Assistant Professor of English Monique-Adelle Callahan joined us for the afternoon!

One observation the group had from spending the day at the service sites? The enthusiasm and hospitality of each environment and the staff – proof that giving back is good for the spirit!

This evening, students also heard a presentation from Yasmin Hussain from Share our Strength’s Cooking Matters. Students learned how to better understand food labels, including how to get the most for your money and why a label that says “Made with whole grain” may not mean much at all!