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A Meals on Wheels survey, a photography fundraiser, and Community Preservation Act Funds



The City Council voted to not approve the award


Designs for all of your movie-related flights of fancy


Survey on impacts of Meals on Wheels

Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services recently surveyed Somerville and Cambridge residents who receive Meals on Wheels. More than 240 people responded, and just under half said that they would have a shortage of food without the program. A similar percentage said that they feel less lonely, due to interactions with drivers.

SCES Nutrition Director Meghan Ostrander said the data shows how Meals on Wheels is helping local older adults maintain health and independence.

“The meals we deliver fill a critical nutritional need, but it’s only part of the story,” said Ostrander. “There are many days that our drivers are the only outside contact for the people we serve. The drivers provide both a friendly interaction and check on the client’s well-being, both of which have taken on greater importance during the prolonged isolation many of us are facing during the pandemic.”

Other notable responses from the survey include:

94% rated experiences with their driver as ‘excellent’ or ‘good,’

90% said the program helps them live independently in the community,

88% said they would recommend the meals to a friend,

87% said the meals help them eat healthier,

84% said the meals help them feel better,

82% said they receive five or more meals per week through the program,

78% said the meals help them maintain a healthy weight.

Donate to a Charles Daniels photography project

A fundraiser is asking for contributions that will help the development and scanning of more than 2,500 rolls of film, preserving “a personal vision of rock history in America—sometimes sensitive and intimate, sometimes raucous and playful—seen through the eyes of master photographer Charles Daniels over 50 years.” Daniels is an accomplished Somerville photographer who, over the years, always had a camera with him, capturing 1960s protests and “ordinary people on the street caught in a revelatory moment.”

“Some of Charles’ photos have been published, but most are still undeveloped and therefore unseen,” reads a GoFundMe page. “Film was expensive then, and it’s even more expensive now. So much of his film is still “in the can”—2,500 rolls and counting, over 40,000 images. And a new bag of film or box of slides could turn up anytime thanks to Charles’ longtime partner, Susan Berstler. Susan has taken on the Herculean task of organizing his life’s work and making sure his photos are preserved and shared. Susan is in conversation with several interested university archives to identify a final home for his unique collection of images, and identifying the best lab to take on this mammoth project.”

To donate to this project, click here.

Pearl Street Reconstruction and Safety Project

The City of Somerville is currently seeking out feedback on the Pearl Street Reconstruction and Safety Project. You can find the survey in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Nepali, and Haitian Creole

Somerville awards $2.7 million in Community Preservation Act funds

The City of Somerville has announced this year’s recipients of Community Preservation Act funds. $1.2 million will be awarded to open space and historic preservation projects, and an additional $1.5 million is designated for future affordable housing initiatives

Open Space & Recreation

  • Glen Park Community Garden: $210,200 to double the existing garden area;
  • Somerville Junction Park: $100,000 toward the park expansion, which will combine an existing passive park with an adjacent City-owned lot previously used for parking;
  • Land Acquisition Fund: $250,000 to be added to the City’s Open Space Land Acquisition fund to create additional open space.

Historic Preservation

  • Elizabeth Peabody House: $30,000 for renovations to meet the State Building Code for assembly spaces and increase occupancy capacity;
  • Somerville Hispanic Association/Grace Baptist Church: $494,110 to install accessibility improvements and make emergency structural repairs to the historic Grace Baptist Church, where the Somerville Hispanic Association for Community Development holds its programming;
  • Somerville Museum: $157,352 to complete the design and renovation of the museum’s collection storage areas.

In addition to what has been mentioned above, the CPC transferred nearly $1.5 million to the Somerville Affordable Housing Trust to support affordable housing projects.

A survey to guide Somerville’s ARPA investments

As part of an ongoing engagement process, the City of Somerville has launched an online survey to identify community priorities for Somerville’s American Rescue Plan Act funds.

“In total, Somerville has $77.5 million in APRA dollars to support an equitable and prosperous recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. After the initial round of community engagement last year, the City committed $9 million to child care, rental assistance, and a Universal Basic Income pilot project,” reads a press release. “An additional $3 million is being considered for a free and reduced transit pass benefits program, and more than $1 million was previously dedicated to emergency public health efforts, housing supports, youth services, and a Digital Bridge Initiative to overcome inequities in digital/Internet access.”

To learn more and take the survey, go to

This article is syndicated by the Somerville Wire municipal news service of the Somerville News Garden project of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism.

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Shira Laucharoen is assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism and assistant editor and staff reporter of the Somerville Wire.



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