Community Cooks – Serving the Community with Meals
Community Cooks is a volunteer organization serving meals to those in the community who need it. Community Cooks has grown tremendously recently since first starting up in Somerville twenty-three years ago. It started out as a few neighbors cooking hot meals for the Somerville Homeless Coalition. But the idea of this and the charity work done by this organization has burst recently into a large network of volunteers who make food for agencies all throughout the Boston area.
The executive director at Community Cooks stated that the organization is “built around cooperation and working together”. She said the heart of the company is “a huge core of volunteers”.
About a decade ago, little by little, Community Cooks grew to about fifty to sixty volunteers in size. Now there are close to six hundred people volunteering. Many of these volunteers cook from home, but some cook at businesses with cooking teams. Meals go to vulnerable populations, for example Somerville-based Respond, which is an organization working to end domestic violence. The cooking teams prepare seventy six meals a month that feed about 2,400 people. Each cook prepares one part of a family meal about once a month. The volunteers shop for their own groceries and those who cook at home deliver them to the Community Cooks headquarters, located in Union Square. The meals are then delivered to some of Community Cooks partner agencies that are located in the area.
Community Cooks continues to grow, and as they do this, the organization is planning to start hosting cooking classes with some of its partner agencies in order to help people who are on tight budgets and that have a limited access to kitchens. Another expansion this organization is planning is with their website. Community Cooks would like their website to have recipes and tips for cooking for large groups in hopes to “export the Community Cooks model to other places”.
Community Cooks has also reached out to the younger generation. Last December the organization presented at the Rashi School in Dedham that hosts exchange students from Israel. The kids were first asked to bring snacks and sandwiches that they had packed for Youth on Fire, which is a drop-in center for the homeless and street-involved youth that is located in Harvard Square. This presentation showed the children that this is something that can be done when they go home, and even though they don’t have much money to contribute, they can still make a difference.
Volunteer work is continuously growing all over the Boston area. If you want to get involved and volunteer, look first to heading to Somerville to join this great organization. ABG has several spaces available in Somerville that may be to your liking!
Reference article – http://somervillebeat.com/features/4202/nourishing-the-community-one-meal-at-a-time/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SomervilleBeat+%28Somerville+Beat%29