Community Servings is one of the leading organizations that is part of the coalition of Food is Medicine Massachusetts (FIMMA). Community Servings connects the healthcare field with the importance of food. By providing medically tailored, nutritious, scratch-made meals to chronically ill individuals and their families, Community Servings works to assure that individuals in the Boston area have access to the nutritious foods they need to be healthy. Through a collective work of meal delivery programs, nutrition education, and policy advocacy, Community Servings is helping lead the collective organizations in Boston which are all working to enhance the role of nutrition in healthcare.
FIMMA is a multi sector state-wide coalition of organizations that are working to connect the food system with the healthcare system. Through various interventions, FIMMA works to create a healthcare system where providers can identify food insecure individuals and connect them with the appropriate Food is Medicine intervention. Community Servings is a leading organization within the coalition, which results in much of the work that I am doing being connected to FIMMA at large.
A main project that I am tasked with this summer is leading the Consumer Advocacy Project where I am developing a strategy for enhanced engagement with FIMMA consumers. Though FIMMA understands the importance of connecting with their constituents and allowing the community to lead in the offered services, not much work has been done on these grounds to accomplish this goal. Through the work that I am doing, I will be aiming to lift the voices of FIMMA consumers. To accomplish this project, I’m learning about past strategies, successes, failures, and areas for improvement and with this information, I will be devising new strategies and leading them. In this effort, I will develop relationships with organizations who are willing to help lead this effort, and having direct outreach to the constituents.
Along with leading that effort, I’ll be helping Community Servings specifically engage with the community — both those who use their services and those who don’t. In this regard, I have been working on compiling resources necessary for events that connect the community to organizations. This involves creating informative flyers, organizing games, garnering interest in FIMMA, and receiving feedback on FIMMA services.
As a student at Brandeis majoring in HSSP, I’ve been learning a lot about the healthcare system. I have recently taken Food, Justice, and Health with Professor Shostak which has further inspired me to work with both the food system and the healthcare system. I am passionate about the role of nutrition in health, and it’s been great to be a part of FIMMA and work with Community Servings for that reason. I knew that I wanted to use what I was learning in my classes regarding food and the healthcare system towards actual work, and being able to do that enhances the learning experience. Through this experience, I am hoping to further develop an understanding of how my passions — both academic and personal — can fit into a career setting. As this internship experience is filled with my passions and interests in the work setting, it has already been allowing me to do just that.