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!


  1. You girls rock! I'd love to come help out some Friday night. The food sounds awesome. They are so lucky to have you.

  2. Deliciously healthy food, great company, and a lot of heart for an undeniably important cause. I have had the pleasure of volunteering almost every month and have enjoyed each minute. Thank you, ladies, for starting such a great program!