EBFP receives $500 “Ideas for Good” award from Santander!

image001Santander Bank presented over 500 non-profit organizations around its nine-state foot print with donations recently as part of its “Ideas for Good” giving campaign. The initiative was created to help introduce the Bank’s new name to communities late last year. At that time, customers voted at their local branches for the community non-profit organizations they most wanted to receive donations. The Santander branch in Rumford presented a check for $500.00 to East Bay Food Pantry on June 13, 2014 as part of that program.

Ideas For Good - East Bay Food Pantry

Pictured from left to right: Sandra Bobola, Teller; Denny Cedeno, Teller; Anita Randall, Executive Director of the East Bay Food Pantry; Adel Hallak, Covering Branch Manager; Olivia Torcato, Branch Operations Manager and Karen Moniz, Personal Banking Representative.

Thank you to Santander Bank and their Rumford clients for choosing EBFP as their non-profit awardee.  This $500 award will help us purchase 5,000 pounds of food for our East Bay clients in need of assistance!

EBFP Recognized as a Certified Best Practices Agency by RICFB!

1510485_10152281622459355_7852575373808150631_nAll of us at EBFP are delighted to announce that EBFP was recognized at the RI Community Food Banks’ annual Agency Conference on 5/30/14 as one of three “Best of the Best” Certified Best Practice Agencies.

We are so grateful for the support of all the fine people at RICFB!

Read on for some additional information shared by Erica Hanson, Agency Services Director, RICFB:

“Thanks to all who attended our annual agency conference last Friday.  It was a great success!  You can view photos from the day on our Facebook page here:www.facebook.com/ricfb

Congratulations once again to our Certified Best Practice Agencies!  The Best of the Best were awarded a $1,000 cash prize and $2,500 in Food Bank credit!

Best of the Best  are Westbay CAP Marketplace, East Bay Food Pantry and Lighthouse Community Outreach.  Our two runners up were awarded $1,000 in Food Bank credit and include Trinity Episcopal and Church of the Master.”

Check Out Our 2013 Annual Report Here!

20140409_105503Dear Friends,

Many of our East Bay neighbors still struggle to feed their families. “Economic recovery” is slow at best in RI with the unemployment rate perpetually at the highest point in the nation.  The RI Community Food Bank reports that 15.4% of Rhode Island households (the highest in New England) do not have the means to purchase adequate food and that member agencies currently provide food assistance to 68,000 Rhode Islanders every month.  Nourishing our vulnerable neighbors is an enormous challenge that requires all of us – individuals, businesses, and organizations – to help to the best of our ability.

The East Bay Food Pantry (EBFP) serves over 1,000 people each month with more than 5,000 East Bay residents receiving assistance from one or more of our comprehensive Access Nutrition programs throughout the year. As a result, total food distribution was up by 26% over 2012, for a total of 258,169 pounds of food shared with clients in 2013.

  • EBFP’s newest program, Food4Kids, shows accelerated growth of 64%

Children of low-income families are at much greater risk during their formative years when sound nutrition is crucial for proper growth and health. Our Food4Kids program was designed to fill the weekend and vacation meal gap experienced by school-aged children who rely on the National School Lunch program for their sustenance. Food4Kids Weekend food packages are distributed twice a month during the school year with each providing 4-6 nutritious and “kid-friendly” breakfasts, lunches and snacks. The program has expanded to cover school vacations. In 2013 we provided 9,584 meals for kids, our most precious resource and the most vulnerable of our clients.

  • Fresh Food Fridays is growing in popularity with a 36% increase in usage

This means more clients are opting for fresh produce, which is exciting progress toward the nutritional goal of increasing our clients’ inclusion of fresh fruit and vegetables in their weekly diets.  Fresh produce donations from individual growers and local farms increased in 2013 to include nearly 1000 lbs each from Blithewold and the brand-new McCoy Community Farm in its first philanthropic growing season. In addition, We Share Hope donated 5,600 lbs. of produce recovered from various growers and grocers and we received over 55,000 lbs. of fresh produce from the RI Community Food Bank during 2013.

While we are thrilled with the success of our Access Nutrition Initiative, as seen through the dramatic increases in program usage by our clients, unfortunately not all the 2013 news is good.  Concurrent with our program growth and associated increased expenses, direct public giving dropped by 28%.  We are not alone in this downturn in contributions as other state food agencies have also reported a drop in donation dollars.  Fortunately, we can weather this financial challenge in the short term as we focus our attention on developing an expanded and more targeted approach to this essential component of our fiscal health.

We are fortunate to have a gifted staff whose hard work and dedication are commendable. Our board of directors are a team of vested veterans and bright new members who together bring many talents and fresh perspectives in a collaborative approach and energized vision for the pantry. We are most grateful for our fabulous, astoundingly committed volunteers – with nearly 10,000 hours of service to EBFP in 2013 – and without whom it would be impossible to provide the depth and quality of services to our clients. We appreciate the many ways each and every one of you bring our mission to life.  Together, we have provided 671,250 meals since we opened our doors in August 2009!

We are also grateful for the support we receive from the individuals, businesses and organizations in our community who understand that partnership is fundamental when providing assistance for over 5,000 East Bay neighbors struggling with food insecurity. And while we recognize that there are countless appeals for donations from numerous agencies, EBFP will continue the philosophy of not inundating our supporters with requests. Our goal is to host a single major fundraising event each year which we hope our supporters will attend, sponsor and help us promote.  And we will make only one annual appeal for contributions of which we ask for serious consideration. This important work cannot be accomplished without YOUR help.

We continue to be inspired by our mission: To engage, educate and empower the East Bay in creating a hunger-free community. Together we can do it!

With hope and joy,

Loretta Marion, EBFP President & Anita Randall, Executive Director

View entire 2013 Annual Report 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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EBFP receives $500 “Ideas for Good” award from Santander!

Santander Bank presented over 500 non-profit organizations around its nine-state foot print with donations recently as part of its “Ideas for Good” giving campaign. The initiative was created to help introduce the Bank’s new name to communities late last year. At that time, customers voted at their local branches for the community non-profit organizations they …

Read more

10169272_10152281624064355_4610976544973781635_n

EBFP Recognized as a Certified Best Practices Agency by RICFB!

All of us at EBFP are delighted to announce that EBFP was recognized at the RI Community Food Banks’ annual Agency Conference on 5/30/14 as one of three “Best of the Best” Certified Best Practice Agencies. We are so grateful for the support of all the fine people at RICFB! Read on for some additional …

Read more