Monday, December 28, 2009

HMFA Fundraiser!

Friends of Hearty Meals,

On January 8th, after our monthly meal of Beef-a-loo Pasta and Salad, we are having a fundraiser! Come celebrate the New Year with us!

Details below:

What? A Hearty Meals for All Fundraiser Party with the Sam Otis Hill Band and Anger Management

Where? Asiana Fusion, 1 Waverly Ave, Watertown, MA.

When? Friday, January 8th, 2010 at 9pm (We will be having a community meal beforehand in Somerville that night).

How Much? We are asking for a suggested donation of $10 (tax-deductible). HMFA is entirely volunteer-run, and all donations will go directly to program costs.

Who? YOU and your friends! Spread the word, the more, the merrier!

If you have any questions, contact Rebecca or Emily at

If you would like to join us at the meal in Somerville to help or eat, come to the Somerville Community Baptist Church at 31 College Ave in Davis Square around 6pm. If you have a car and can help carpool some friends, let us know!

We hope to see you there :)

Happy New Year,

Emily and Rebecca

Monday, December 7, 2009

Next Meal: THIS Friday, December 11th, 6:30pm

Our November meal was another success with over 50 guests. Thanks to all who helped out. We are expecting the numbers to increase as the weather gets colder. We are gearing up for our next meal which will be Friday, Dec. 11th at 6:30 at the Somerville Community Baptist Church in Davis Square. Continuing our committment to supporting local farmers and bringing the freshest and healthiest meat and foods to our guests, we purchased pork from New Beginnings Farm in Townsend, MA and will be making pullled pork. The menu is BBQ pulled pork, BBQ beans, cornbread, honey carrots, When Pigs Fly Bread, and dessert is still to be determined. We need help prepping the meal starting at 6:00pm on Thursday, Dec. 10th and help cooking and serving starting at 5:30 on Friday night. If you can make it let us know ( Please invite anybody you would like to volunteer and/or enjoy the meal. If you have questions you can email or give Rebecca a call at 917-826-5298. We hope to see you this week!


Emily and Rebecca

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Where Does Our Food Come From?

The “hearty meals” served at HMFA are more than just free; they are highly nutritious, well-balanced, and made with high-quality ingredients. Well, what do we mean by high-quality?

Vegetables: Our meals always feature an array of fresh vegetables- everything from your everyday players like carrots, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and potatoes, to less common and more exotic (but just as healthy!) ones such as kale, baby bok choy, beets, and turnips. Most of our vegetables are donated by our friends at Food for Free, a Cambridge-based agency that “responds to local hunger by rescuing fresh food that might otherwise go to waste and distributing it within the emergency food system where it can reach those in need” (from their website). In season, Food for Free gets much of their produce locally, from farms and farmer’s markets in the area. They also work with Whole Foods and Trader Joes.

Meats: We have made a commitment (with the help of the Somerville Health Foundation) to serving only locally-raised, humanely-treated, appropriately-fed meat products. You may say, ‘but they are so expensive and you have to go pick them up!’ We don’t care. It’s important to us that the people we feed (including ourselves) receive the quality of food they deserve, and meat is no exception. We have built partnerships with local farms, such as Double J Farm (serving grass-fed, handsome beef), Austin Brothers Valley Farm, and New Beginnings Farm (look out for our all-natural, farm-raised pulled pork sandwiches coming this month!) If you are a local farmer and would like to work with us, please email!

Bread: We get our delicious and nutritious freshly baked artisan breads generously donated from When Pigs Fly in Davis Square. Our guests eat these deliciously creative loaves right up (I am guilty, too). We thank When Pigs Fly for providing us with this much needed, high-fructose-corn-syrup-free donation.

Dairy Products and Eggs: Well, pretty much the same idea as meats. If you’re looking for quality, locally-grown meats, you should be looking for the same things in your milk products and eggs. For these tasty additions, we frequent the Dairy Bar at Kick~Ass Cupcakes. Scrumptious farm fresh milk, cream, and eggs. You’ll notice the difference, I promise (that is a challenge!).

Other Products: Ok, so we don’t buy EVERYTHING locally (do you have olive trees fruiting in your backyard?). But we do try our hardest to get organic and fresh when we can. Did we mention that Dave’s Fresh Pasta has donated delicious handmade pasta dishes to us, twice?? All of our desserts (well, all of the dishes, for that matter) are handmade by our fabulous chef Yvette, and we offer a vegetarian option at each meal! If you have thoughts, suggestions, compliments for specific products or lines, let us know!

We hope that our program can be an inspiration to others to make these ever-so-important shifts in where we get our food.

A Sampling of our past menu offerings:

July: Bread & herb oil; Grilled Chicken Burrito with rice, beans, cheese, onions & peppers; Dill Potatoes, Turnips & Carrots; Cole Slaw; Apple Crisp; Iced tea

August: Bread with bruschetta topping; Handmade pasta primavera with fresh vegetables; Turkey meatballs; Fresh garden salad; Oatmeal squares; Iced tea and Coffee

September: Bread and herb oil; Breaded Tilapia, Chicken Breast, or Tempeh; Homemade Potato Chips; Steamed Greens; Chocolate Brownies; Iced tea

October: Bread with olive oil; Dave’s Sesame Noodles with Sauteed Vegetables & Shrimp; Chopped Salad; Pumpkin Whoopie Pies; Iced tea and Coffee

November: When Pigs Fly bread with herb oil; Shepard's Pie with grass-fed beef (or beans); Fresh sauteed greens; Pumpkin Bread (and a variety of cakes); Coffee

December: You’ll have to join us on December 11th to find out, but, did I mention pulled pork sandwiches??

See us featured in Wicked Local Somerville, twice!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What is HMFA?

Hearty Meals for All is a free community meal served on the second Friday of each month at the Somerville Community Baptist Church at 31 College Avenue, Somerville, MA 02144. For more information, comment on this blog or email us at

A Big Thanks to our supporters: New England Grassroots Environmental Fund, Somerville Health Foundation, The Somerville Community Baptist Church, and all of our wonderful individual donors, family, and friends!

Program Description

Hearty Meals for All aims to meet a community need by providing wholesome, cooked meals that use fresh produce, lean meats, and fresh dairy products and by creating a welcoming and open atmosphere for individuals and families to enjoy their food. Hearty Meals for All secular meal times will be held at the Somerville Community Baptist Church in Davis Square and will also serve as a venue for social support services, such as resources and referrals, free health services administered by local health organizations, and opportunities for self-expression.

Mission Statement

To meet the nutritional and social needs of the community by providing free, healthy, fresh meals in a welcoming atmosphere. To help develop avenues through which healthy habits can flourish.

Vision Statement

To create a safe, stable, and friendly environment in which free and healthy community meals are served, where individuals and families of all means feel comfortable participating. A warm environment that is bursting with activity, in which guests and volunteers are one in the same and are peers. An apparent emphasis on healthy eating and healthy living that is not patronizing, but rather invites participants to learn about and take charge of their health and nutrition while connecting community members with the resources to do so.

Who Is HMFA?

Hearty Meals for All is volunteer-administered and run. Community volunteers (including guests) help with fundraising, advertising, daily operations, food ordering, food pick-up, food and supply inventory, meal set-up, meal preparation, meal service, clean-up, and event planning.

Rebecca Gallo, M.P.H., L.C.S.W. and Emily Bullen, L.C.S.W will administer the program. Rebecca earned a Masters degree in Social Work and a Masters degree in Public Health from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from American University. She is a licensed clinical social worker. Emily received a Master's degree in Social Enterprise Administration from the Columbia University School of Social Work in New York, N.Y., and a Bachelor's degree in Sociology/Criminal Justice from the George Washington University. She is also a licensed social worker.