Each month, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank serves more than 50,000 guests through its network of member agencies across the state.
Everyone has their own unique story but we have selected a few to show you how the Food Bank – through your support – is making a difference.
“We’re down to the bare minimum. There are times we’ve had to pay rent late, pay the car payment late, just to purchase groceries. If you name the bill, we’ve had to put it off.”
Bill is 50 and unable to work because of a tumor in his pituitary gland and some other health issues. His wife still works, but she doesn’t earn enough to pay all of their bills. Yet, they don’t qualify for federal assistance programs like SNAP. They rely on the network of pantries in Providence and Pawtucket to put food on their table.
“I can’t get here as often as I need to but this helps me out. A lot. It’s a really good place, really nice, especially when you can’t afford groceries.”
Sandra used to work in security, and in a nursing home. She’s no longer working as she suffers from kidney disease and needs dialysis three times a week. She lives with her son, 28, who is disabled, and visits the North Kingstown Food Pantry at least once a month for help with food.
“A year ago, when I retired, I couldn’t afford the cost of food. I don’t have a car. I take the bus or ride with friends. If I take the bus, it’s 15 minutes or maybe half hour, I have to leave the bus at Kennedy Plaza and walk here. What they give, meat, pasta, rice, fruits, beans… it’s good.”
Samuel is a retired taxi driver who lives in Providence. Through retirement and Social Security, he earns $800 per month which needs to cover all of the expenses that he and his wife incur. Once a month, he visit the food pantry at the First Unitarian Church on Benefit Street to help stock the shelves.
“The food is good. The neighborhood and the people are nice. They help me make it through the winter.”
Lisa is a frequent guest of the Good Neighbors food pantry and meal site in Riverside. Last year, she and her boyfriend lost their basement apartment after a sewage leak, then Lisa lost her job. Currently, the two are homeless and living in a tent. They visit various food pantries and meal sites throughout the area.