News From the Network
Little Compton Food Pantry Joins the Network
The Rhode Island Community Food Bank welcomes its newest partner: the Little Compton Food Pantry. The food pantry is the Food Bank’s only member agency in Little Compton and the only food pantry in Little Compton.
The Little Compton Food Pantry falls under the auspices of the Little Compton Assistance Association, a group formed over thirty years ago by local churches and friends to provide ecumenical outreach in Little Compton and neighboring communities. The pantry itself was founded in 1993 and has been continuously well supported by the community.
To accommodate the steadily growing number of families seeking food assistance, the pantry moved to a new location in the lower level of the Little Compton Wellness Center located at 115 East Main Road in 2013. The Little Compton Food Pantry is open Fridays and Saturdays from 9-10 am and they can be reached at 401-592-0400. For more information, visit the Wellness Center’s website.
North Kingstown Pantry Finds New Home in Old School House
The Little Red School House on School Street in North Kingstown has a new role. This historic structure is now the home of the North Kingstown Food Pantry.
After operating out of a local church for 30 years, the North Kingstown Food Pantry needed more space to keep up with the increased need for food assistance. In cooperation with the town of North Kingstown, they embarked on a $100,000 capital campaign and renovated this former school house. Bonnie Smith, longtime pantry manager, along with the entire Board, took every detail into account in renovating their new space.
With generous community support, the new space opened in October 2013. At the same time, the North Kingstown Food Pantry became a partner agency of the Food Bank. The pantry serves North Kingstown residents and is open by appointment, Monday through Friday from 10 am to 2 pm, and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 pm to 6 pm. The building is handicapped accessible and has ample parking.
To learn more about the North Kingstown Food Pantry, call 401-885-3663 or visit their website or Facebook.
Food Bank Expands Kids Cafe Program
To help close the meal gap for Rhode Island children, the Food Bank is encouraging after-school programs to offer evening meals through the Kids Cafe program, utilizing reimbursement funding from the USDA’s Child & Adult Care Food Program.
The Food Bank recently opened new Kids Cafe programs at the Woodlawn Community Center in Pawtucket, the Cumberland-Lincoln Boys & Girls Club in Cumberland, The Learning Community Charter School in Central Falls and the Pell Elementary School in Newport. Kids Cafe now includes 15 sites serving 750 children in Central Falls, Cumberland, East Providence, Newport, Pawtucket and Providence, with more children joining every month.
More than half of the 3,000 meals served per week at Kids Cafe sites are prepared by the Food Bank's Community Kitchen, a culinary job training program for low-income and unemployed adults. In addition, the Food Bank works with several food service vendors to enable the delivery of nutritious meals to a growing number of sites. Thanks to Encore Catering, Aramark/Central Falls Schools and Chartwells/Newport Public Schools for stepping up to help us fight hunger in our state.
If your agency is running after-school programs or partners with other agencies that do, please email Trevor Daneker, Senior Program and Nutrition Education Coordinator, or call (401)230-1758 for more information on how you can bring Kids Cafe to the children you serve.
Exploring the Connections Between Food and Faith
Statewide, 102 of the Food Bank's member agency programs are operated by faith-based agencies. The connections between food and faith and the faith-based motivation behind this work were explored during the February 6 Cultural Competency Series.
More than a dozen agency representatives shared in the food and conversation offered. Here are just a few of the comments from the participants:
“It feels like we are paying it forward. Coming from a large family, we got help with food and more when we were young. It’s time for us to help people now.”
“I feel renewed when I see that our food pantry helps to lift people up.”
“We know that people coming in for food help need more than just food. We help them with other resource referrals, and it feels good to give people hope.”
Participants will receive am email including all of the ideas gleaned about ways the Food Bank can help them make their work a little easier. If you are interested in learning more, please email Liz O'Dea or call (401)230-1706.