RWU Donates 40 Thanksgiving Baskets!

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Meghan de Vries ’16, event coordinator

Roger Williams University will celebrated its 12th Annual Turkey Basket Contest this week, a beloved campus tradition in which students, faculty and staff join together to craft complete turkey dinners in creative baskets to donate to families in the East Bay.

This year, more than 40 Thanksgiving dinners, including sides, desserts and gift cards to purchase turkeys were donated to the East Bay Food Pantry on Tues., Nov. 18. The East Bay Food Pantry serves more than 5,000 local residents and families and will distribute the Thanksgiving dinners for local families in need starting early next week. EBFP expects to distribute over 400 baskets Thanksgiving baskets to families in need in November.

Led by the Feinstein Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement, the program has donated hundreds of baskets to Bristol and Warren communities over the years. Each year, departments, student clubs and organizations, and groups of faculty, staff and students submit themed baskets that contain complete Thanksgiving meals.

All 22 of RWU’s athletic varsity teams including the athletic training staff donate for the annual drive which contributes as many as 25 complete Thanksgiving meals. In addition to the meal, baskets often include other fun items such as crayons and coloring books, children’s books, card games, recipes and holiday candles. Some of the baskets have even included a holiday breakfast or have been large enough to fill a family’s pantry for an entire month.

Meghan Devries ’16 led the coordination of the Turkey Basket contest this year and started working at the East Bay Food Pantry as a Freshman. “It’s been fun to help plan the Turkey Basket contest this year. The drive is something that is especially important to me because I work at the Pantry and get to see all of the families that these donations will help.”

To learn more about the Feinstein Center for Service Learning & Community Engagement, please visit: http://rwu.edu/campus-life/career-community/fsl.

Thank you to Meghan and RWU community from all of us at EBFP – we appreciate your support so very much!

EBFP Annual Giving Appeal – Your Gift Makes Every Difference!

The need for food assistance in Rhode Island remains at a record high! Here are the startling facts:

• 15.4% of RI Community Food Bank’s population (66,500 households) do not have the means to purchase adequate food with an additional 5.5% (24,000 households) experiencing severe food insecurity (hunger).

• 43% of RI’s “food insecure” population have such limited income that they must choose between buying food and paying for heat.

• 144,000 Rhode Islanders (13.7%) are living in poverty with a 21.9% rate for our children.

Providing adequate nourishment for our most vulnerable neighbors is our top priority and we are determined to make sure EBFP’s resources are accessible to all those in need. 2014 marked the 5th year anniversary of our agency’s mission: To Engage, Educate and Empower the East Bay in Creating a Hunger Free Community. Thanks to your generous support we have been able to provide nutritious food for over 5,000 residents in the nine communities we support. Donate securely here…

Just last week, new client Jessica explained why she enrolled her family at EBFP…IMG_0583

“My husband Mat and I moved back to Warren in September with our 4 children to be near family. Mat works part time and I am earning a Bachelor’s degree, so money is tight. The Bristol/Warren School Dept. recognized that we needed help and referred us to EBFP. I was so impressed with all the healthy food and produce – you have more than canned food – you have what people need to eat!”

Nutritious food is a must for Jessica’s family as three of her four children have special dietary needs. Her youngest, Jeremy (now 8) was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer at 9 months and lives with one kidney after multiple treatments and surgeries. Thankfully he is in remission now! Jessica remains positive in the midst of life’s challenges and smiled as she said, “EBFP is a community source of helping hands that brings nutritious food to my family when times are hard!”

Unfortunately, Jessica is not alone in her struggle to feed her family. Assisting 5,000 people is a huge responsibility and one we could not take on without your help and the support of our community.

Please help us meet this challenge, and together we can create a better, a stronger, a healthier East Bay! Please take a moment now to make your tax deductible donation securely through our website.

EBFP Client’s Story of Struggle Featured on WPRI 12

IMG_0583More Rhode Islanders forced to rely on food bank

Bristol, R.I. (WPRI) — With unemployment at 7.6% in Rhode Island it’s difficult for the state’s working poor to feed their families, and the number of people relying on the state’s food bank has increased exponentially over the past decade.

The challenging economy has hit Jessica Masse’s family hard. While her husband works part-time, it’s not enough for Jessica and her four children – so life becomes a juggling act.

“I will go sometimes without eating, because they come first.” she said. “Sometimes I have to overlap bills. not paying the electric or gas. Give it a one-month gap before I pay it, so I have enough to pay for food expenses.”  Find complete story here…

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At the East Bay Food Pantry, food is available to anyone in need in our community.  We currently serve over 1,500 households representing over 5,000 individuals (more than 1,500 of those are children).  Our “Client Choice” Food Pantry is set up grocery store style:  our clients get a shopping basket and choose what their family needs and likes based on household size and key nutritional guidelines.

Our Thrift Shop is the sustaining force behind the East Bay Food Pantry.  All are welcome to shop at the Thrift Shop!  We have a wonderful array of quality items, treasures, and curiosities at great prices and the selection is always changing.   Come in often to shop and make donations of quality, in-season clothing, furniture and household items.  Your donations and purchases directly support our food pantry programs.  Please help spread the word to friends, family, and neighbors about this “shopping for a cause” option in Bristol!

Several times each year, we organize fundraising events to raise awareness of our mission and support our food programs.  In May or June, we hold our Get Off Your CAN!  5K Run/Walk to End Hunger in Colt State Park.  Uncorked! takes place in October at Mount Hope Farm on Bristol Harbor and features live music, local eats, and cold beverages.  Rock the CAN! gathers the best local bands for a benefit concert in January hosted by Jacky’s Galaxie in Bristol.

Food and funds are donated by various organizations around the community including The East Bay Cares Program of the Bristol County Elks, Bristol Rotary, Bristol County Lions, Rogers Free Library, Downtown Bristol Merchants Association, Rockwell, Colt-Andrews, and Guiteras Elementary Schools, Mt. Hope High School, Red Brick School, The Greene School, Little Friends Preschool, First Congregational Church Sunday School, Roger Williams University, Bryant University; and by numerous businesses, families, and individuals.

The East Bay Food Pantry is a proud member of the RI Community Food Bank network of agencies and the Bristol County Needs Network.  We are a 501c(3) non-profit organization and donations are tax-deductible.  We welcome your donations.  Learn more about us in our 2012 Annual Report.

Your good works and generosity help us fulfill our mission: “to engage, educate and empower the east bay in creating a hunger-free community.”

Click here to see answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the East Bay Food Pantry and Thrift Shop.  You may also learn more about us on the Our Story page.

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RWU Donates 40 Thanksgiving Baskets!

Roger Williams University will celebrated its 12th Annual Turkey Basket Contest this week, a beloved campus tradition in which students, faculty and staff join together to craft complete turkey dinners in creative baskets to donate to families in the East Bay. This year, more than 40 Thanksgiving dinners, including sides, desserts and gift cards to …

Read more

EBFP Annual Giving Appeal – Your Gift Makes Every Difference!

The need for food assistance in Rhode Island remains at a record high! Here are the startling facts: • 15.4% of RI Community Food Bank’s population (66,500 households) do not have the means to purchase adequate food with an additional 5.5% (24,000 households) experiencing severe food insecurity (hunger). • 43% of RI’s “food insecure” population …

Read more