Mint Julep in Coolidge Corner converted this gumball machine into a donation-raising dynamo for the Food Pantry

Mint Julep in Coolidge Corner converted this gumball machine into a donation-raising dynamo for the Food Pantry

Who would have thought that spare change and dollar bills from purchasing cupcakes, gumballs and bread could do so much for so many?

On Friday the 16th, there was only enough time to make collections at four locations before meeting Jim Solomon and Jamie Tober of The Fireplace to finalize details of an upcoming surprise announcement for the Feed Brookline Campaign. To our delight, we hit the jackpot for the Brookline Emergency Food Bank that day.

First at Eastern Bank, we collected five bags of groceries, putting the Drive’s tally to thirty-nine bags collected. Tatyana Melnik, Assistant Vice President of the Coolidge Corner Branch and her staff have been very active supporters of the Food Pantry. We were shocked to collect 5 more bags after we just made a pick up a few days earlier.

Our next stop in Coolidge Corner was Mint Julep.  Manager Erin Schrutt slapped a Feed Brookline label on the their old fashioned gumball machine. For the second year in a row, this created a feeding frenzy among fashion conscious shoppers. So far in 2011, donations collected in the gumball machine have added up to $253.37! Our special thanks to Lisa Clark of Brookline Bank for waiving the processing fee when we used the bank’s coin changer to convert donations for the Drive. Mint Julep has done even more to support the Food Pantry.  Last year, co-owner Brooke Garber got married. She and her husband made a wonderful donation to Feed Brookline in the name of their wedding party.

We next stopped in to Party Favors, also in Coolidge Corner.  If you haven’t ordered a cake for the holiday season from them yet, stop what you are doing and call or stop in right now! It’s like Wall Street in there, but nobody wants to occupy it for any purpose other than satisfying their addiction to the best frosting in the world. This holiday season, the cupcake fanatics at Party Favors placed almost $250 into our Feed Brookline canisters.

The news was just as encouraging elsewhere in Brookline.  Every supermarket has a bread isle. Ignore it. The best bread in the world is made right in Brookline at Clear Flour Bread. Abe and Chrissie Faber’s off-the-beaten path location at 178 Thorndike Street is a like a temple to the Gods of Bread. All their flours are unbleached and unbromated. Their rye, whole wheat, buckwheat, and 7-grain are organic, stone ground, sans dough conditioners, preservatives, and improvers of any kind. So far, the throngs that line up at Clear Flour Bakery to purchase their daily fix of fresh bread and pastries have contributed over $500 to the Feed Brookline Campaign.

We have already surpassed last year’s drive, and it doesn’t end until January 31. If you could see me writing this, you would know that I had to stop for a second to dry my eyes. Thank you everyone for helping out. Keep up the good work!

R. Harvey Bravman, Publisher