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ProJo: No Boundaries to Need

EAST GREENWICH — On a Friday morning, hungry men and women jam the free food pantry in one of the wealthiest towns in Rhode Island. Dianne Smith, 50, fills a bag with bread. She and her 17-year-old daughter receive just over $1,400 a month in disability and child-care payments, but after Smith pays the bills — rent, a car payment, insurance and other costs — she only has about $200 a month to spend on groceries.

“It’s not enough,” says Smith, who visits the pantry at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church twice a month for bread, meat and canned vegetables.

Since the start of the recession in 2007, the number of Rhode Islanders getting free food from pantries, soup kitchens and other programs has jumped by nearly 60 percent, a new report says.

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