Community Servings in Jamaica Plain offers Thanksgiving spirit and hundreds of holiday meals

Wellesley resident John Tyler racked up 9,400 steps at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning in the Community Servings kitchen in Jamaica Plain, helping to pack hundreds of Thanksgiving meals for delivery to needy Greater Boston residents.

Tyler, who arrived around 6:30 a.m., called the Thanksgiving Eve volunteering a labor of love. He joined about 90 other people in the kitchen to prepare boxes of roast turkey, mushrooms with gravy, Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, herb stuffing and other holiday staples.

“It’s energetic, it’s crazy, but it’s fun and it feels like you’re making a difference,” said Tyler, who has volunteered for the association for three years, completing more than 1,800 hours. on duty. “I can’t do anything about global warming, I can’t do anything about what’s happening in Washington, but I can make a small difference in the fight against hunger in Boston and Massachusetts.”

In addition to holiday meals, Tyler and the kitchen volunteer team prepared 4,500 medically personalized meals for special delivery to people living with serious and chronic illnesses across the region. More than 50 volunteer drivers delivered weekly meal bags to 665 Community Servings customers.

The nonprofit, which focuses on food security for people facing medical conditions, has weathered setbacks related to COVID-19, as volunteers have continued to serve Monday through Friday for the past two years,” said Ryan Levasseur, director of communications. It delivered a similar number of meals compared to pre-pandemic, he said.

“Sometimes the person you deliver to may be the only person they see all week,” Levasseur said. “Not everyone has the same Thanksgiving. There are other realities that people have.

Natick resident Tyler Masse delivered meals Wednesday alongside his 17-year-old daughter Shea, 14-year-old son Kal and Kal’s friend Josh. It was the family’s third trip to Jamaica Plain to accomplish what Masse said has become a tradition and an activity her children have come to love.

“I don’t see it as if we’re doing hero work, the people here are doing hero work,” Masse said, “but it feels good. I want to instill community in them. It’s very important to them. to see “Hey, things are going great in our lives,” but it’s not like that for everyone. Those roles could be reversed in the future.