It’s the growing season, and during this time of year our kitchen is packed with donated produce from local farms, purveyors, and food rescue organizations. Through these partnerships we receive fresh, seasonal produce that would otherwise remain unsold or left in the fields. As soon as each shipment arrives, the fun really begins, as our chefs and dietitians work side-by-side to incorporate the produce into scratch-made, medically tailored meals for our clients.
Every Thursday, thanks to Land’s Sake Farm, the benefits of local produce extend beyond our kitchen and into our urban community through our Farm to Fork Nutrition Education classes. Class participants take home a Land’s Sake Farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share, courtesy of the Town of Weston and Stop and Shop. Participants, some of whom are nutritionally vulnerable, learn how to prepare healthy dishes using the CSA ingredients, taste-test new recipes, and receive healthy recipes to take home.
“Our Farm to Fork classes get participants excited to eat and cook with fresh vegetables,” says Valerie Machinist, Community Servings’ Manager of Nutrition Services. “Every week we hear about what participants cooked using their CSA share from the previous week. It also encourages them to try new things – last week there were eggplants in the share, and one participant swore she hated eggplants. We made a delicious and healthy baba ghanouj (Middle Eastern eggplant dip) served with homemade whole wheat pita chips, and she admitted that she loved it. Nothing makes our dietitians happier than seeing people expand their food horizons and enjoy healthy foods. And I think that’s what Community Servings strives to do with all of our meals.”