Our member agencies include 159 meal sites and food pantries spanning from Woonsocket to Westerly. Join us every Friday as we spotlight a different one. Each of our member organizations uniquely serves their community to get food assistance to those who need it most.
For your Food Bank member agency to be featured; email us here.
Spotlight on the Capital City Food Pantry, located at the Tavares Community Center at 285 Chad Brown Street in Providence. The pantry is open Monday-Friday: 9am – 3pm. Erin Brady, Food Pantry Manager recently shared: “Our guests range from young adults to the elderly. We have different days for seniors, and families of varying sizes, as well as a produce day.”
To keep the community safe, they are operating a curbside pickup. Erin also assists individuals and families by connecting them to other resources in the community. Being in proximity to the Chad Brown apartments, allows Erin to build relationships within the neighborhood, and her volunteers are from the housing community itself. They all know their neighbors and their needs, and can better serve the community because of this.
Tracey a volunteer of 4 years, shared “…the pantry being right here is helpful to all the neighbors.”
When asked what her favorite part of her work was, Erin explained, “I love the interaction. You meet all different people, and everyone comes from different circumstances. Everyone’s culture is different. It’s nice to get to know people on a personal level. I get to be personal with the guests here.” These photos reflect the hard work and dedication of the Capital City Food Pantry’s team in providing food access to all.
Please visit their website to learn more: https://www.capcitycommunitycenter.org/our-programs/capital-city-food-pantry
Spotlight on the Limerock Baptist Church Food Pantry, located at 1075 Great Road in Lincoln. The food pantry is open every other Saturday from 9-10am for all, and every other Tuesday from 4:30-5:45pm for Lincoln residents. Stephen Crenshaw, Chairman of the Social Concerns Committee runs the pantry and has been on board for 10 of the 15 years of that the pantry has been open. Before the pandemic started, Limerock relied on Boy Scout drives, donations from Stop and Shop and local food collection, in addition to the food they get from the RI Food Bank. Stephen shared how they’ve bridged the gap as some of these sources were less available because of COVID,
“What’s been wonderful is the outpouring of support from our community. We tell people they can donate wholesome food together or make a monetary donation, and they’ve been so thoughtful.”
In the warmer weather, Limerock maintains a large community garden, where they grow food for the pantry, another way the community is involved in food assistance. Stephen shared that no matter the town or city, hunger sadly persists everywhere:
“Lincoln is seen as one of the more affluent towns, but you know there’s hunger everywhere. There is no time that hunger is not going to affect someone. There are always emergencies and situations that make bills difficult to pay and then buying food turns into a hardship.”
Please visit their website to learn more: https://www.lrbcri.org/lrbc-food-pantry (Photo courtesy of Limerock Church, taken prior to the pandemic.)
Spotlight on the the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center (MLK Community Center), located at 20 Dr. Marcus F. Wheatland Blvd. in Newport. The Food Pantry is open M, W, F, from 10:00am – 2:00pm, Wednesday evenings 4:00pm-6:00pm and the 1st Saturday of each month from 10:00am – 12:00pm. The MLK offers a meal site, serving breakfast M-F 7:30 – 8:30am. The Mobile Food Pantry makes rotating visits to neighborhoods in Newport, Middletown, Portsmouth, Jamestown and Tiverton and makes a standing third Tuesday monthly visit to Newport’s Park Holm Senior Center. Heather Hole Strout, Executive Director, shared how food Assistance is a huge part of the MLK Community Center’s work, with the on-site pantry providing food assistance to many people who had never accessed it before the pandemic.
“Our hunger services include an on-site food pantry, a mobile food pantry, daily breakfast programs, Grab n Go hot meal lunch offerings and grocery delivery to seniors and the homebound.”
The mobile food pantry has been a lifeline for the Newport community through the pandemic:
“People were having to Uber or take the bus to get to food resources and we thought let’s bring more food more often to the people. The mobile pantry went out 37 times in 2019, but 134 times in 2020.”
In addition to the fresh produce they receive as a member agency of the Food Bank, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center works hard to source fresh fruits and vegetables while supporting local businesses. As Executive Director Heather Hole Strout explained about their Veggie Days program:
“We’ve partnered with local farmers and we’re able to offer produce year-round. Grant funding helps support purchasing locally. Our weekly Veggie Days include produce gleaned from farmer’s markets and donated by home gardeners both in the warm months and all year round.”
The MLK Center provides fresh produce to guests but also takes it out to the community through a Mobile Food Pantry that visits neighborhoods in Newport, Middletown, Portsmouth, Jamestown and Tiverton. This resource is particularly helpful for residents who don’t have access to transportation or are unable to visit the Center’s food pantry. The MLK team is dedicated to providing food access to all. Please visit their website to learn more: https://www.MLKCCenter.org/hunger-services
(Photo courtesy of the MLK Community Center Team.)
Spotlight on the Faith Fellowship Food Pantry, located at 260 Victory Highway in West Greenwich. The food pantry is open every Tuesday and Thursday from 4-6pm.
The pantry has been open for about 10 years, and Pastor Steve focuses on building relationships with pantry guests:
“It’s all about listening to folks. I find that everybody’s got a story, and especially now with people in their houses all the time, they can’t wait to share their stories. The pantry is very much a relational thing for us as well, making those personal connections with our guests is so important.”
The pantry started distributing Farmers to Families boxes this past December. The once monthly distributions allow guests to access a box of fresh meat, dairy and produce grown locally, and subsidized by the USDA.
“It’s been wonderful to share the abundance in these boxes. To think of what it would cost a family to go out and purchase all this food, it’s so wonderful to be able to give these out.”
Faith Fellowship has been able to reach out to their community to staff the pantry and the Farmers to Families distributions with volunteers:
“We’ve been lucky that we have volunteers to help with all of our work; community members, lots of students and everyone is so willing to help and step up. So many people locally have a heart for this work.”
The Faith Fellowship Food Pantry’s team is dedicated to providing food access to all. Please visit their website to learn more: https://www.faithfellowshipaog.com/food-pantry