What is Brookline Thrives? Brookline Thrives is a Brookline Food Pantry program that works in partnership with the Public Schools of Brookline. This volunteer-run program provides free take-home weekend meal packs to school-age children in need. The goal is to reduce the number of Brookline students starting the school week hungry. The program is being piloted in the 2018-19 school year at the Lincoln School. Brookline Thrives plans to operate in all interested Brookline K-8 schools and Brookline High School over subsequent years.
The weekend food packs:
Are available to all families with students enrolled in the Public Schools of Brookline, even if they do not reside in Brookline.
Can be picked up every Friday during the school year; no proof of financial need is required.
Contain single-serve portions of a variety of non-perishable foods and beverages for two breakfasts, two lunches and two snacks; when available, whole fruits and cut vegetables also will be included.
Will have a rotating menu that changes every three weeks to provide variety.
What’s in a weekend meal pack? The specific meal pack contents will vary, and Brookline Thrives will strive to offer packs to meet specific dietary needs, but here's an example of what a meal pack might include:
Cheerios single-serve bowl
Instant Oatmeal packet, maple & brown sugar
2 shelf-stable 8oz. low fat milk boxes
Macaroni & cheese single-serve cup
Chicken cup of noodles soup
Fruit – apple and/or orange
Crackers & cheese snack pack
Oatmeal chocolate chip bar
No contents will contain nuts as a direct ingredient; however, due to manufacturing processing, Brookline Thrives cannot guarantee nut-free.
Why does Brookline need a weekend food program? In the 2017-18 school year, 13% of all Brookline Public Schools students received free or reduced meals. School administrators believe the actual need is much higher. Economic disparity is rising within Brookline. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of households earning less than $15,000 per year or more than $100,000 per year increased, while the number of households earning between $15,000-$99,000 decreased. The struggle to meet basic needs, including food, has a direct impact on the academic performance of Brookline students.
How do I sign up? If you have a child at Lincoln School and would like to receive weekend food packs, please fill out the Brookline Thrives form and return it to the school. Registration is not required, but it helps Brookline Thrives determine the number of food packs needed and to address specific dietary concerns.
How can I help? Brookline Thrives is a volunteer-run organization and your help is appreciated. You can:
Donate – Any amount is appreciated. The average cost of a weekend food pack is $5.80. A donation of $203 gives weekend packs to one Brookline student for the full school year.
Volunteer – Volunteer shifts are available:
Wednesdays to sort food deliveries into bins to prepare for Thursday assembling
Thursdays to assemble food packs
Fridays to distribute food packs
Mondays to sort through unused meal packs and update supply report