Making an impact … one meal at a time!

December 4, 2019 | Newsletters

“There is no greater insight into the future than recognizing … when we save our children, we save ourselves.” – Margaret Mead

Those meaningful words from Margaret Mead are displayed on the wall at the Italian Home for Children. The quote embodies the life-changing work the group has been doing in the Greater Boston area for over a century. The Italian Home provides an integrated network of powerful and effective programs to help children and families with emotional, behavioral, and educational challenges thrive in their communities. They offer residential programs, home and community programs in addition to an educational center.

At Olivia’s, we’re honored and proud to partner with such a wonderful organization. That’s why we’re taking this week to share the stories of two individuals making a major difference in the lives of so many. Johanne Jean Louis is the Head Chef at the Italian Home for Children, and Amara Lucci-McShain is the organization’s Culinary Director.

Take it away, Johanne and Amara!

Meet Johanne and Amara!
Two important members of The Italian Home for Children team, passionate about giving back to the greater community

Tell us a bit about the Italian Home for Children and the great work that you do!
Johanne: The Italian Home for Children is a home that provides effective programs to help children and families. The campus consists of residential dormitories, a school and many other programs. I’ve been the chef at the IHC for about 17 years. We provide home-cooked meals including lunches and dinners for those in our care. We serve family-style to the dorms and a have serving line for the school. All meals come with fresh fruits and fresh salads that we make in-house every day!

We heard from the Olivia’s team how much they’ve enjoyed partnering with the Italian Home. How did you first get involved with the folks at Olivia’s Organics?
Amara: Olivia’s Organics graciously donates weekly produce to the Italian Home for Children. Our relationship with Olivia’s Organics is present in every meal, every day for our clients and our staff.

There’s a very powerful quote from Margaret Mead on the wall at the Italian Home for Children … “There is no greater insight into the future than recognizing … when we save our children, we save ourselves.” Can you talk a bit about what those words mean to you?
Amara: Our responsibility goes far beyond feeding our clients. We are nurturing them and giving them the foundation for a healthy future. For many children, meal time is their favorite time of the day. They can unwind, chat with friends and enjoy a delicious and healthy meal. We like to use this time to introduce new foods such as kale, chickpeas and grains. Kids are curious, and we love to be part of their curiosity.

How does healthy and delicious food factor into your philosophy for giving back?
Johanne: Healthy food means a healthy mind. A healthy mind means a healthy body. A healthy body means a healthy soul. All of that equals a happier life. My philosophy is, if it looks good, they will try it. The gorgeous mixed greens we get from Olivia’s Organics speak for themselves.

What is the most rewarding part of your impactful work at The Italian Home?
Amara: Every day I leave work proud of what we do here. I have worked in many restaurants and food establishments, but the chefs we have cooking for the children here are the best I have worked with. I am proud to say that the food served here is “home on a plate.”

Thanks a million to you both, and to everyone making a difference at the Italian Home for Children! We loved hearing a bit more of your stories, and Olivia’s is thrilled to be a part of your tremendous work.

If you or your family has a favorite way of giving back or have an organization in mind to spotlight, let us know about it! Find us on Instagram by searching @Olivias_Organics and using the hashtag #oliviasopenmic. Or send an email to

Thanks so much for making Olivia’s part of your fresh, healthy life. Stay green!
Team Olivia’s

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