Homelessness Prevention 

The Franciscan Food Center at St. Anthony’s Shrine was founded in October of 2008 by the Franciscan Friars working in partnership with the Greater Boston Food Bank. As the largest food center in downtown Boston, we serve a diverse population of over 25,000 people; many of whom are poverty-stricken, physically or mentally disabled, abused or simply families who would otherwise not have enough to eat. Our mission is to provide high-quality, nutritious food in a client-choice setting and create a community in an environment of dignity, compassion and respect. Only with your help can we continue to serve the thousands who come to us each year in desperate need.




“When a door closes, the Lord opens a window."  Through that “window” now come over 500 frozen whole chickens donated monthly and cases of fresh bread every week. 

A large truck, made available on Wednesdays by the council members, hauls the average 4,000 lbs. of food from the Greater Boston Food Bank to the Food Center, where it is unloaded by volunteers and stacked refrigerators.

The Food Center was opened in the basement of St. Anthony's Shrine in July 2008, just as the U.S. economy was taking a nosedive and the recession was swelling the ranks of the unemployed.