The Brookline Emergency Food Pantry has opened a second location at 55 Egmont Street in Brookline at the corner of Dummer and St. Paul — one block south of Boston University’s gymnasium. The new site is in an affordable housing complex owned by the Brookline Housing Authority, who have partnered with the pantry in its opening, and already things have been quite busy for the new staff.

“We had about 50 people come the first week and 30 were brand new to us,” said Rene Feuerman, who is the Pantry Director. “The second week we had about 20 new people, so that’s 50 households we added in just two weeks, which is significant.”

A household typically describes a family, which can mean anywhere from one to eight people.

The pantry currently serves approximately 750 households between the two locations, which they keep record of in their database. Their primary site, located at 15 St. Paul Street, has been in operation for over 25 years, beginning as an outreach program at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

The St. Paul Street food pantry is open fourteen hours a week. The new Egmont Street location is only open on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., which means they have about double the capacity given they are only open three hours out of the week, according to Feuerman. Help is certainly needed.

“We had a record day right before the 4th of July,” said Feuerman, “We had to feed 59 households, which is a lot of shuffling around of food.”

They haven’t been without support. The Brookline Community Foundation gave them a grant to expand their healthy food offerings, and, in turn, offered to help pay for the food for the first six months. The Sunshine Academy also helped to the raise the money that went towards the refrigerator, freezer and cabinetry.

They now have a double-freezer at the new location, allowing them more frozen goods such as chicken nuggets, frozen raviolis and fish sticks.

But food offerings may be subject to change to ensure nutrition is meeting standards. The Brookline Health Department is in the process of meeting with the pantry to discuss the quality of the food on offer.

Overall, though, Feuerman is pleased with the transition and the location.

“It’s in a community location, so people are coming and going and the kids are running in and out, and it’s much more family oriented,” she said. “I love it, I get to know more of the kids here.”

Volunteers and donations are still very much needed, and toiletries in particular are in high-demand.

“I am looking for a few people who have a passion for the mission,” Feuerman said, “also for people who might want to take some ownership of it.”

Get involved or donate online to the Brookline Emergency Food Pantry. Monetary donations can also be mailed to The Brookline Emergency Food Pantry, 15 Saint Paul Street, Brookline, MA 02446.


—By Tanner Stening