CommonWealth Kitchen helps hospital serve local year-round.
Shawn Goldrick and Michael Cogliandro from Boston Children’s Hospital felt a bit relieved to get into the warmer air as they stepped out the 1,300-square-foot walk-in freezer at CommonWealth Kitchen (CWK). It was an impressive amount of space but cold for a stroll. They were attending a tour of the community development corporation’s community commercial kitchen. On their tour, Goldrick and Cogliandro met some of the local food business owners housed at CWK such as Dorchester native, Teresa Thompson Maynard of Sweet Teez Bakery, and they saw CWK’s processing kitchens where local farm products are transformed into shelf-stable and frozen products for health care and other institutions.
The hospital representatives were impressed with what they saw and made arrangements with CWK to purchase a custom-made and labeled applesauce and a squash puree. These are two of the winter items featured in the Nourished by New England program, which the hospital participates in.
The squash and apples were both local farm surplus items that would have gone to waste had CWK not been able to process and store them. This collaboration created multiple community benefits: Boston Children’s obtained healthy, locally produced items that met their specifications, farmers were able to earn income from their excess product, food was diverted from the waste stream, CWK earned income to support their work, and Boston-based food production jobs were sustained.