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Monday, April 6, 2020

RI Community Food Bank needs your help




COVID-19 Update - Food Bank Responds to Increased Demand
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank has anticipated seeing an increased demand at food pantries and meal sites throughout the state.


We’re Distributing More Food
Last week, we distributed 350,000 pounds of food – that’s 100,000 pounds more
than our normal weekly total. For the month of March, we dispersed 39% more food than we had at this same time last year. Our drivers have been delivering more frequently and added Saturdays to their routes. (Click on the graphic above to expand it.)

We’re also transporting food to sites outside of our existing network of 168 member agencies. Working with FEMA and the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, the Food Bank has been dropping off truckloads of Meals, Ready to Eat (MREs) to cities and towns in need of additional food assistance. Together, we’re able to reach people who maybe not have a nearby food pantry or, like many seniors affected by this crisis, are unable to leave their homes.

We’re Hearing from More People in Need
On our website and via phone and email, we are receiving increased requests
from people asking where they can find food so we expect the number of new visitors to pantries will continue to grow. Many of these contacts are from people who recently became unemployed and have never before sought food assistance. They often express fear and concern as we and our member agencies work with them to access food in their community.

We Miss Our Volunteers
We’re managing this additional work without our normal corps of volunteers who sort and pack food. We sincerely miss their support. Staff members have been stepping up to fill in the gap and we couldn’t be more thankful for their dedication and commitment. We look forward to having our volunteers back when this crisis is over.

We Are Essential
The Food Bank and its pantries have been declared essential services by the Governor so we will remain operational even while nonessential businesses close. And we rely on you now more than ever to continue this critical work.
Food Bank Member Agencies in the News
Our network of food pantries and meal sites have been adapting to respond to the need in their communities while keeping staff, volunteers and guests safe. Here are several examples that have been highlighted recently in the local media. Click on the agency name to read their story.
Northern RI Food Pantry in Cumberland
Dr. Martin Luther King Center in Newport
Progreso Latino in Central Falls
Jonnycake Center of Westerly
East Greenwich Interfaith Food Cupboard
WARM Center in Westerly 
 
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Our mailing address is:
Rhode Island Community Food Bank
200 Niantic Ave
Providence, RI 02907-3150