1,000,000 Lbs.
Food Distributed Annually

Hospital-Based Therapeutic Food Pantry in the Country

People Served since 2001

Welcome to the Preventive Food Pantry at Boston Medical Center! Created in 2001, the Food Pantry works to address nutrition-related illness and under-nutrition for our low-income patients. It fills the therapeutic gap by linking physicians and nutritionists to patients. Individuals with special nutritional needs are referred to the Food pantry by BMC primary care providers who write “prescriptions” for supplemental foods that best promote physical health, prevent future illness and facilitate recovery. The Pantry is often used by patients with cancer, HIV/AIDS, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, heart disease and other chronic conditions.

Families can visit the Food Pantry every two weeks (maximum twice per month) and receive three to four days’ worth of food for their household each time. A key feature is the provision of perishable goods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and meats all year round – items that are often costly and therefore often lacking in a low-income family’s diet. In 2017, the Preventive Food Pantry provided food to 83,288 patients and their household members (an average of 6,941 monthly).

The Food Pantry is open Monday to Friday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. It is managed by four staff members and many food pantry volunteers. The Pantry Manager is a registered Dietetic Technician, qualified to determine what foods correspond to a patient’s dietary needs, as prescribed by a BMC physician. The pantry staff members are fluent in four languages and has been essential in assisting BMC’s many refugee and immigrant patients.

Patients need to be screened and referred to the Food Pantry by their Primary Care Provider.

To refer a patient to the Preventive Food Pantry, please follow these instructions:


  1. Click "Communications"
  2. Click “Letters”
  3. Search "Food Bank"
  4. Answer the two questions that appear
  5. Open the Referral Form
  6. Print and provide to the patient

The letter will say “Boston Medical Center, Nutrition Resource Center, Referral Form” at the top. Please give your patient this referral form to take with them to the Food Pantry.

Contact Us

The Preventive Food Pantry
Yawkey Ambulatory Care Center at Boston Medical Center
850 Harrison Ave
Boston, MA 02118

Call: 617.414.3834 or 617.414.5263
Fax: 617.414.3940