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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Putting food on the shelves

Rep. Donna Walsh delivers $2000 Legislative Grant to RI-CAN
RI-CAN director Deb Nigrelli gets $2000 check from Donna Walsh that
will help fill those empty shelves.
News release from State Representative Donna Walsh

The Rhode Island Center Assisting those in Need (RI-CAN), based in Charlestown for more than ten years, helps individuals and families with food, household goods, clothing, temporary housing and job-search assistance.

Rhode Island’s economic woes have lasted long and bitten deep, and this has led to a sharp spike in the number of people turning to RI-CAN for help.

RI-CAN Director Deborah Nigrelli told Rep. Donna Walsh that in just one three-hour period in early January, 160 families came to RI-CAN just for help with food. She showed Rep. Walsh shelves that had been packed with food goods that were now empty.

Rep. Walsh talks to Joe Calamita (r), who has volunteered at
RI-CAN for over 10 years
The dramatic increase in the number of people needing help was one major reason why RI-CAN needed to move to its new building, a former retail store at the corner of Routes 91 and 112 in Carolina.

While donors and foundations helped make the move possible, Nigrelli told Rep. Walsh they still needed to raise more for maintenance and expansion. 

As they spoke, Nigrelli pointed to a bucket placed under a drip in the roof.

Nigrelli hopes to launch a capital campaign to buy the building and make needed renovations. She also said they needed 100 more volunteers and, of course, more on-going community support.

She praised local businesses, as well as local farmers, hunters and fishermen who have been generous in sharing what they grow or catch with RI-CAN.

Rep. Walsh was proud to have secured an additional $2,000 in assistance for RI-CAN through a legislative grant which she personally presented to RI-CAN Director Deb Nigrelli.

For more information about RI-CAN, click here

For more information, please contact Rep. Walsh at 523-2199 or visit her website. Representative Walsh is a Democrat, House District 36, which covers parts of Charlestown, South Kingstown, Westerly and all of Block Island