Contribute to a Valuable Community Collaboration
Please help us raise funds to continue to reimburse our partner restaurants for the meals that they provide to the clients of the Brookline Food Pantry and the Brookline Senior Center. You can contribute at: https://tinyurl.com/RestaurantsForBrookline.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Brookline Food Pantry has seen a 400% increase in the number of weekly clients coming to the Pantry for food. The Pantry went from serving 150 households per week to over 700 per week. At the same time, our favorite restaurants had to change their operations, temporarily shut their doors, laying off staff members and more just to stay afloat.
In February our State Senator, Cynthia Creem, proposed a State budget earmark to address both food insecurity and financial support for restaurants in her district, including Brookline, Newton, and Wellesley. Brookline was given $60,000 which became Restaurants for Brookline, managed by the Brookline Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with the Brookline Food Pantry and the Brookline Senior Center, with consultation from Irene Li, owner of Mei Mei.
For seven weeks this Spring, eleven beloved Brookline restaurants supplied fifty ready-to-eat meals to Brookline Food Pantry and Brookline Senior Center clients each week. The restaurants were fully reimbursed for the meals provided, paid for by the state grant. Recipients were thrilled by the delicious and nutritious meals, and the restaurants benefitted from the increased revenue. As State Senator Creem has said, this program was a “true win-win for our communities.”
In just a few short weeks, we noticed the impressive impact that this program had on all parties. Families enjoyed nutritious meals that they might not otherwise have had the opportunity to try, restaurants got a guaranteed boost in sales and created new dishes, and the town tried a new approach to addressing the issue of local food insecurity.
When the State funding ran out in mid-May it was clear that “Second Helpings” were needed. Restaurants for Brookline will be extended this summer. Thanks to an impactful grant of $30,000 from the Brookline Community Foundation and generous contributions from donors we have raised 75% of our $60,000 goal.
Previous restaurants included: Bar Cino, Curry House, Grainne O'Malley's, Jin’s Fine Asian Cuisine Sushi Bar , Pon Thai Bistro, La Morra, Livite, Michael's Deli, Paris Creperie, Pho Lemongrass, and Zaftigs.
Current Restaurants for Brookline - “Second Helpings” include: Boca Grande, Curry House, Cutty’s, Grainne O'Malley's, Jin’s Fine Asian Cuisine Sushi Bar , Pon Thai Bistro, La Morra, Livite, Michael's Deli, Paris Creperie, Rifrullo, and Zaftigs.
“What a wonderful treat! I really never get to eat restaurant food!” – Brookline Food Pantry recipient
This was a "little ray of sunshine" in her life and she appreciates it and hopes the program can succeed for the future. – Brookline Senior Center recipient
“In Thai culture, food is a communal experience. We share the cooking, serving, and of course eating. It is gratifying to me that we can extend our small Thai community to help Brookline.”- Sivika Hunter, Pon Thai Bistro
Let’s extend Restaurants for Brookline! Support restaurants, nourish people. Please contribute today. All contributions are greatly appreciated.