Community Service

HUHDS enjoys the privilege of providing sustenance to Harvard's extraordinary community. But with privilege comes great responsibility, and HUHDS has a strong tradition of community service, with a special focus on hunger awareness and relief efforts in Massachusetts.

We serve more than 5 million meals a year, but we are painfully aware that food is not as bountiful beyond our renowned gates. Hunger is on the rise in the United States, and one in five children under the age of 12 in Massachusetts go to bed hungry. To address this terrible situation HUHDS partners with local community organizations including the Greater Boston Food Bank, Project Bread, and Community Servings.

Each calendar year, we donate approximately 8,000 pounds of leftover food (cooked but not salvageable food from dining hall meals and catered events) to the Greater Boston Food Bank. From there it is redistributed to area food programs for the hungry (including emergency feeding programs such as St. Francis House, Shattuck Shelter, the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans, Women's Hope, and the Women's Lunch Place); this accounts for 6,000 meals. Food donated to additional assistance programs (University Lutheran Church, Phillips Brooks House, St. James' Summer Shelter, and others) accounts for another 1,000 meals.

HUHDS' support of Project Bread's Walk for Hunger, through food donations, fundraising support, resource sharing such as for phone banks, and a Walk-day team and refreshment station, are is valued at more than 5,000 hot meals. Project Bread funds nearly 400 food pantries, soup kitchens, food banks, and food salvage programs throughout Massachusetts.

And the 1,750 pies baked for Community Servings' annual Pie in the Sky fundraiser garnered $35,000 in revenue (plus over $15,000 in additional donations), representing 10,000 meals as they feed 700 people a day who are homebound and hungry, suffering from HIV and AIDS.

In all, HUHDS proudly provided almost 22,000 meals for hungry Massachusetts' citizens.

In addition, HUHDS supports numerous community-based programs related to food and food literacy awareness. This includes such opportunities as the annual CitySprouts fair, which helps raise money for the program that teaches urban youths about gardening, sustainable agriculture and nutritious eating; and the annual City of Cambridge Senior Citizens' luncheon in Harvard Yard.

"On behalf of all the guests and staff at the St. James's Summer Shelter, we would like to thank you for your generous daily donations of leftover Annenberg dinners. Our shelter guests always commented on how good the food was and looked forward to a warm, tasty dinner each night."
–St. James's Summer Shelter