What is Brookline Thrives? How does my student get bags? Thrives is a FREE food program for any Brookline school family who may benefit from additional options over the weekend. Students may receive bags at school on Fridays to take home, or families may pick up bags in person on Friday evenings.
Each Thrives bag contains two breakfast items, two lunch items, milk, fruit and snacks.
One bag feeds one child.
Thrives has a rotating menu, providing a little variety each week.
Everything is shelf-stable, single-serve portions. Nothing needs to be refrigerated.
Thrives can also accommodate most major food allergies and dietary restrictions.
How is Thrives different from School Meals? Brookline Thrives is a program of the Brookline Food Pantry. We work in partnership with the Public Schools of Brookline and Brookline Food Services. Unlike school meals, Thrives does not receive federal reimbursement for meals. Thrives is 100% funded through grants and donations to the Brookline Food Pantry.
Why does Brookline need a weekend food program? Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity has been real in Brookline. In the 2018-19 school year, 14% 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 can I help? Brookline Thrives is a volunteer-run organization and your help is appreciated. You can: Donate – $275 feeds one student every weekend during the school year. Any amount is appreciated.
Bag packing - Organize and pack Thrives bags, readying them for delivery to schools. To start, shifts will be Tuesday evenings from 7-8:30pm, Wednesday mornings from 9-10:30am and evenings from 7-8:30pm, and Thursday mornings from 9-11am. Volunteers should be ready for some light lifting. The Thursday morning shift will also assist with loading bins into our truck for school deliveries.
School Deliveries - Uhaul Driver - Ready to show off your driving skills? Thrives uses a 10' UHaul truck to deliver our bins to schools and community locations. This shift involves picking up the truck at UHaul on Route 9 (next to the Audi dealership), driving to 218 to load the truck, delivering bins to participating schools and community locations, picking up inventory at Brookline High School, returning to 218 to unload inventory and empty bins, then street parking the truck nearby. The anticipated shift time is 10:00am - 1pm. Most weeks, deliveries occur on Thursdays. If there is no school on a Thursday or Friday in a given week, delivery will happen on Wednesday. Ideally, this volunteer is a regular weekly volunteer. This is not a requirement, but does make logistics easier. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and have a valid driver's license.
School Deliveries - 2nd Person - This volunteer rides in the UHaul truck, assisting with school deliveries. This shift involves meeting 218 to load the truck, delivering bins to participating schools and community locations, picking up inventory at Brookline High School, returning to 218 to unload inventory and empty bins. The anticipated shift time is 10:30am - 1pm. Most weeks, deliveries occur on Thursdays. If there is no school on a Thursday or Friday in a given week, delivery will happen on Wednesday.
Inventory Pickup - UHaul Driver - Thrives sources some foods from retail partners, like Costco in Dedham and Wegmans in Chestnut Hill. Using our 10' UHaul truck, Thrives needs someone to pick up pre-ordered inventory at our retail partners. This volunteer would retrieve the UHaul truck parked near 218, drive to designated stores to pick up inventory, return to 218 to unload, then return the truck to UHaul on Route 9 (next to the Audi dealership). This shift is anticipated to occur bi-weekly on Thursdays from 3:30-6pm. It could take less time. Light lifting is expected.
Inventory Pickup @ Retail Partners- This volunteer rides in the UHaul truck to assist with pickup of pre-ordered inventory at retail partners, like Costco in Dedham and Wegmans in Chestnut Hill. This volunteer would meet the UHaul driver at 218, ride to designated stores to pick up inventory, then return to 218 to unload. Additional volunteers will be at 218 to assist with unloading and putting away inventory. This shift is anticipated to occur bi-weekly on Thursdays from 3:30-6pm. It could take less time. Light lifting is expected.
Inventory Unload- Volunteers are needed to unload our truck and put away inventory into 218. This shift is anticipated to occur bi-weekly on Thursdays from 5:15-6:30pm. It could take less time. Light lifting is expected.
Bag Distribution (various locations) - Volunteers are needed to help deliver Thrives bags to classrooms at our participating schools and help hand out bags at our community locations. To start, volunteers are needed to Pierce and Florida Ruffin Ridley schools on Thursday afternoons from 3-4pm, Lincoln School on Friday mornings from 7-7:40am, and at the community rooms at 226 High Street and 55R Egmont Street from 5-6pm. More shifts will be added as Thrives expands to more schools. Ideally, these volunteers can commit to a regular weekly shift. This is not a requirement, but does make logistics easier. In-school volunteers will be required to complete a CORI background check.
Substitutes - We cannot stress enough the importance of having substitutes. Life happens, and sometimes a volunteer must cancel at the last minute. If a desired shift is full, please consider signing up as a sub. Substitutes should only report to a shift if contacted.