(Wellesley, MA) – Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation today announced it will contribute $52,000 to The Dimock Center to sponsor and coordinate the Boston COVID-19 Relief Meal Delivery Project. Starting today and running through at least May 5th, Boston-based caterers Fresh Food Generation and Commonwealth Kitchen will prepare approximately 600 weekly meals for The Dimock Center’s Early Education families. As part of this project, meals will be delivered twice weekly to The Dimock Center in Roxbury for pick-up with full compliance for social distancing. As a result of The Dimock Center’s sponsorship of the meals program with Fresh Food Generation, 15 people will now be back to work helping others.
“With an estimated 40% of the City of Boston’s COVID-19 cases affecting African-American communities, we are especially grateful to be able to partner with The Dimock Center, in working with Fresh Food Generation and Commonwealth Kitchen, to deliver nutritious, hot meals to our most vulnerable neighbors during these challenging times,” said Michael Carson, president and CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and chair of the Foundation’s board of directors. “It is designed to take care of those most at-risk for complications from COVID-19 and help put people whose jobs have been impacted by COVID-19 closures back to work.”
The Harvard Pilgrim Foundation recently launched similar programs in New Bedford, Mass., and Manchester, N.H., and is looking to further expand this project to other areas in the region. The Foundation remains committed to providing the necessary resources to support community-focused initiatives.
“In response to the pandemic, The Dimock Center’s early education programs are closed until at least early May and many families are facing a tremendous gap in accessing healthy foods vital for young children’s growth and development, and for parents’ and siblings’ well-being,” said Lynne Sheridan, M.Ed., Vice President of Child and Family Services at The Dimock Center. “As COVID-19 disproportionately impacts our African-American and Latino patients and families, Dimock’s work in addressing health inequities is even more pressing. We are so thankful for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, our long-term partner, and for Fresh Food Generation and Commonwealth Kitchen for being so responsive in getting our families nutritious, hot meals at a time when they need it most. This is a priority and supports Dimock’s commitment to providing uninterrupted care to our community.”
A majority of Dimock's patients and families represent communities of color and are very low-income. Dimock is committed to providing the care that is essential to saving lives and aid in reducing the spread of this virus. Dimock’s early education programs (Early Head Start, Head Start and Foundations for Learning) serve more than 350 low-income young children and their families, with Head Start families’ incomes well below the federal poverty level ($25,100 for a family of four). Including parents and siblings in each household, Dimock’s programs reach more than 1,000 people.
“Our team is thrilled to be back in the kitchen together again,” said Cassandria Campbell, co-founding partner of Fresh Food Generation, along with co-founding partner Jackson Renshaw. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to share food with members of our community during such a challenging time. Our ability to mobilize quickly and collectively feed 300 families speaks volume to the strength of the collaboration.”
In addition, Harvard Pilgrim Foundation recently announced a $250,000 grant to the Boston Resiliency Fund as part of its $3 million COVID-19 relief efforts.
About The Dimock Center
Founded in 1862 as the New England Hospital for Women and Children, the Dimock Center heals and uplifts individuals, families, and our community. Operating on a nine-acre campus in Roxbury’s Egleston Square, we serve people from Boston neighborhoods and 212 communities across the state through our Health and Community Care, Behavioral Health, and Child and Family Services. Nationally recognized as a model for the delivery of comprehensive health and human services in an urban community, we serve more than 19,000 people annually.
About Fresh Food Generation
Founded in 2013, Fresh Food Generation’s mission is to disrupt food disparities by creating a common food experience. Everyone deserves to eat well, no matter where they live. We serve the entire Greater Boston Area and are intentional about finding opportunities to make affordable, healthy food more readily available in low-income neighborhoods.
About Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation
Created in 1980, The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation supports Harvard Pilgrim's mission to improve the quality and value of health care for the people and communities we serve. The Harvard Pilgrim Foundation provides the tools, training and leadership to help build healthy communities throughout Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. In 2019, the Harvard Pilgrim Foundation awarded nearly $2.9 million in grants to 990 nonprofit organizations in the region. Since its inception in 1980, the Foundation has awarded $155 million in funds and resources throughout the four states. For more information, please visit www.harvardpilgrim.org/foundation.