For the fifth consecutive year, the garden at the Brookline Community Foundation (BCF) has supplied some much needed fresh produce to the Brookline Emergency Food Pantry. Since the summer, the Food Pantry has received 270 of produce including: beans, peas, carrots, cucumbers, kale, tomatoes, potatoes, onions, shallots and leeks. By the end of the growing season in late fall, the garden will have yielded about 500 pounds of produce from its 14 raised beds with 320 square feet of growing space. BCF provided a grant this year to JP Green House to manage the garden and provide educational programs for the community.
As noted in BCF's 2013 Understanding Brookline report, "between 2009 and 2012, the number of visits to the Brookline Emergency Food Pantry increased by 87% - from 2,650 to 4,900. The Food Pantry serves over 500 families and individuals...up from 250 just a few years ago." According to Rene Feuerman, director of the Brookline Emergency Food Pantry, "in recent years there's been a big push for more produce for our clients."
BCF is also committed to ensuring that children have access to the garden to learn about locally grown food and the reality that some Brookline families are food insecure. Stephanie Springer, of Brookline Recreation Department, recently brought a group of children to visit the garden. "As the director of nature camps for the Town of Brookline," she said, "I loved watching the kids from our "Sprouts" program plant, weed and harvest crops. What a great hands-on educational experience and so meaningful since the produce is then given to the Brookline Food Pantry!"
"The Brookline Community Foundation is proud to be a partner in this work to meet the needs of hungry families in our town," said BCF Executive Director Jenny Amory.
About the Brookline Community Foundation
The Brookline Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization that exists to promote a strong, engaged and inclusive community. BCF identifies and raises awareness of community needs, creates forums for public dialogue and problem solving, inspires philanthropy and volunteerism and advances equal access to community resources and opportunities while strengthening and sustaining local nonprofits.