Frequently Asked Questions…
What is the mission of the East Bay Food Pantry, Inc. (EBFP)?
- “Engage, educate and empower the East Bay in creating a hunger-free community.”
- The EBFP partners with other like-minded organizations servicing the East Bay to best serve our client population (e.g., RI Community Food Bank, First Congregational Church in Bristol, East Bay Cares Program-Bristol County Elks, and We Share).
- The EBFP offers both a client-choice food pantry and a low-cost thrift shop. The thrift shop was established as a way to help sustain the EBFP mission.
How is the EBFP connected to the RI Community Food Bank?
- As a member agency, EBFP is eligible to purchase food directly at 10 cents/pound, higher priced COOP items and to receive free items as available.
- EBFP is helping to support their goal of offering more sites with more hours of operation to improve accessibility to those in need.
How great is the need for food in our area?
- Statistics about hunger and food insecurity are available from the Rhode Island Food Bank. Click the link for, current hunger and food insecurity statistics.
Who is eligible to shop?
- Residents of the East Bay including Bristol, Warren, Barrington, East Providence, Portsmouth, Middletown, Newport, Little Compton and Tiverton can shop in the food pantry. The food pantry is open every Wednesday (10-5pm).
- Anyone can shop in the thrift shop. The thrift shop is open Wednesday (10-5pm), Thursday/Friday (10-4pm), and Saturday (10–3pm).
What programs does EBFP offer?
- Regular pantry shopping is open every Wednesday (10am-5pm) and clients may shop once during each calendar month.
- Fresh Food Fridays offers produce every Friday (10am-3pm). Clients may shop any and every Friday that they wish.
- Food4Kids provides weekend and vacation food for children who qualify for the National School Lunch program. Pick-up times are currently the 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month (10am-noon) during the school year and every Friday (10am-noon) during the summer.
- Food4Seniors provides supplemental food for low-income seniors age 60 and over on the 3rd Friday of each month (10am-noon).
- Cooking Classes are offered to clients once each month, featuring easy, healthy recipes made with pantry foods.
- Holiday Food selections are available to clients during their regular pantry shopping in November and December.
- Christmas4Kids provides gifts for qualifying client children, ages 12 and under.
- Thrift Shop vouchers are available to clients in need of thrift shop items who are unable to pay.
- Our Volunteer program offers a variety of experiences for people interested in sharing their time and talents supporting the work of EBFP.
How much food does a client receive?
- The food pantry is a “client-choice” system. The amount varies according to a client’s need, food preferences, and household size, but equals about one week’s food per family member. In addition, clients may pick up produce every Friday as part of our Fresh Food Friday program. Qualifying clients may also participate in our other food programs.
How do you know if pantry clients are really in need and not abusing the system?
- Food is available to anyone stating need. The EBFP operates on an honor system; income is not verified.
- However, pantry clients complete an application, which includes an inquiry of any income sources and of other household assistance received such as free school lunch, food stamps, and rental assistance. These are markers of need, verified by the state, that support a client’s statement of need.
- Clients are eligible to pantry shop once a month. A photo ID is required for each household member as well as proof of residency. A shopping log requiring client signatures is maintained.
How can I donate to the pantry/thrift shop? What is needed? When can I drop things off?
- Donations may be dropped off during hours of operation Wednesdays through Saturdays.
- The thrift shop accepts clothing, household items, furniture etc.. Click here for a complete list of Thrift Shop Needs.
- The pantry needs non-perishable food items, especially canned meat and fish, peanut butter, whole grain cereals and pasta, brown rice, spaghetti sauce, canned fruits and vegetables, and healthy soups. Click here for a complete list of Food Pantry Needs.
- Monetary donations are always welcome and can be mailed or made via PayPal on our website. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Please consider joining our Become a CAN MAN FAN! Appeal!
What others ways can I help and/or be involved?
- Volunteer opportunities exist in the food pantry, thrift shop and office (administrative support).
- There are special event opportunities, which involve helping plan and coordinate fundraising and awareness-raising events throughout the year.
- Time or talent to share? Stop by during open hours or contact our office at 396-9490 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can print, complete and send us your Volunteer Application.