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Monday, May 18, 2020

Help the Food Bank fight hunger

COVID-19 Update -
Getting Food to People In Need 

Door to Door: How Food Gets to the People Who Need It Most
Follow the flow of food from the Food Bank to one of its member agencies, Project Outreach in Providence, as staff and volunteers work together to meet the increased demand for help during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Special Delivery
Every day, the Operations Team at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank works tirelessly to prepare food for delivery and distribute it to food pantries throughout the state.

Last week alone, the team moved more than 400,000 pounds of food – that’s 150,000 pounds more than in a normal week before the COVID-19 public health emergency began. Overall, distribution has increased 42% and it’s not expected to slow down anytime soon.

Take a look at this quick video to see how it all happens. From “picking” to delivery, you can see how one 13,000 pound order gets from the Food Bank to the front lines where it’s distributed to neighbors in need at the Project Outreach food pantry.

Volunteers Take the Delivery to the Next Step
The next day, volunteers gather outside Project Outreach, a food pantry in Providence, tucked into a church basement. Each month, they provide food assistance to 1,300 guests from around the Washington Park area, one that has been hard hit by the Coronavirus.

Sorting cans of beans, potatoes and meal boxes, the volunteers work wearing masks, washing their hands often and maintaining a six-foot distance from one another.

As Steve, a volunteer at the site for the past three years, shares "I live right around the corner. I like being here and helping people I know."

Instead of coming in to “shop” for their food, guests of the pantry now receive pre-packed bags at a pick-up spot.

Feeding People in Need
Project Outreach hosts two pantry days each week to serve the increased need of their community. During that time, they will distribute almost all of the 13,000 pounds of food that they received from the Food Bank.

Another volunteer, Shawndell, helps separate all of the pallets that were delivered into individual bags to make sure that every guest gets a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables.

As she explains, “We sort through all of the vegetables. It's a few hours each day we’re open. We get the delivery and then we break them up into these bags, so everyone gets a little bit of all the produce.”

She adds, “We can’t have as many volunteers here right now and we miss them. We always need more people to help."

Our mailing address is:
Rhode Island Community Food Bank
200 Niantic Ave
Providence, RI 02907-3150