Brookline Thrives

Brookline Thrives offers convenient, free food bags to local families who could benefit from additional food options for their children over the weekend. Each child’s bag contains two breakfast items, two lunch items, milk, fruit and snacks for the weekend. No proof of financial need is required. ​Families may take bags for ALL children in their household.

The idea for Brookline Thrives was developed in 2018 by Kim Kushner, and the program has been a part of the Food Pantry since that time. Kim worked tirelessly to build the program and as of 2022-23 it serves BEEP and all eight K-8 Brookline schools.  The program is now managed by Sharon Brockmann. You can reach Sharon at

Choose what works best for your family.

Receive Bags at Your School
Any child attending BEEP or a Brookline K-8 public school may receive bags at school on Friday. Registration is required.

Questions? Scroll down to see FAQs.

Pick Up at a Local Community Room
Families may also pick up bags in person on Friday afternoons, no registration required. Locations and times:

  • 226 High Street
    5:00 – 6:00pm (map)

How to Volunteer with Brookline Thrives

Brookline Thrives is a volunteer-run organization and your help is appreciated. There are many volunteer shifts every week during the school year, from packing bags to distributing bags at schools and at our community pickup locations. All volunteers must be at least 15 years old.

Interested in learning more and receiving weekly updates, including volunteer needs?
Join our email list.

In addition to your time, please consider a monetary donation. Food prices continue to increase. $360 feeds one student every weekend during the school year. Any amount is appreciated. 


What is in a Thrives bag?

Thrives provides convenient, non-refrigerated, single-serve foods that are easy for your child to heat and eat. Each child’s bag contains two breakfast items, two lunch items, milk, fruit and snacks. Bag contents vary each week to provide variety of tastes. Thrives can also accommodate most major food allergies and dietary restrictions.

When can my child start receiving Thrives bags? 

Your child can start receiving Thrives bags every Friday as of September 16, 2022. Families can start and stop participating in the Thrives program at any time during the school year.

Can we stop getting bags?

You can opt out of the Thrives program at any time by emailing If you change your mind and would like to receive bags again, just send another email.

My child doesn’t like everything in the bag. What can I do with that food?

Thrives understands that not all kids like the same things. If there are items in Thrives bags that your child does not like, please feel free to give those items to another family member or friend. Or you can bring the food back to your child’s school to be used as snack for another child or returned to Thrives in our bins.

Are Thrives bags safe for my child’s food allergies?

Thrives can accommodate the eight major allergens, vegetarian and kosher. Please complete the registration form to alert Thrives of any allergies or restrictions. Thrives, however, is not an expert and strongly encourages families to read product labels if they are concerned about foods and their child’s allergies or restrictions. 

Can I change the type or quantity of bags my children receive?

Yes, you can change the type of bag or the number of bags your children receive at any time. Just email and tell us what you would like changed.

How is Thrives different from School Meals?

Brookline Thrives bridges the gap where school meals leave off. Schools provide meals to students on Monday through Friday. Thrives provides meals for Saturday and Sunday. 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 government 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.  

Other questions?