Our Story

The East Bay Food Pantry (EBFP) and its companion Thrift Shop were established in response to a growing need for assistance in the East Bay community that was identified by Pastor Daniel Barron Randall and the leadership of Bristol’s First Congregational Church. With support from the East Bay Community Development Corporation, state legislators, HUD, and the Town of Bristol, space was secured on the ground level of the Franklin Court Assisted Living building on Wood Street in Bristol (rent and utility free). Over 200 volunteers, including professionals in the construction trades, spent over 3,000 hours cleaning, painting and preparing the space for the August 2009 opening. The East Bay Food Pantry began serving the community in August 2009, and received 501(c)3 status in December 2009. The EBFP is a RI Community Food Bank Member Agency, having met stringent training and compliance requirements.

Clients from the East Bay area are served free of charge at the Food Pantry and may shop one Wednesday each calendar month.  The Thrift Shop is open Wednesday through Saturday, with thrift shop proceeds used to support our food programs. The EBFP currently serves over 400 East Bay households, over 800 Unique individuals per month(34% are children 24% Senior citizens) with food distribution and meaningful community-based programs utilizing best practices for effective service delivery and evaluation.

EBFP operates with a very small, part-time staff including our Executive Director, Director of Programs and Operations, Thrift Shop Coordinator, Programs Assistant, and Customer Service Cashier. There are currently sixty active volunteers serving in both the Pantry and Thrift Shop, who bring varied professional and personal skills to the agency; including a nutritionist, nurses, educators, physicians, IT professionals, engineers and business leaders. Our valuable community partnerships assist us in meeting our mission of“engaging, educating and empowering the East Bay in creating a hunger-free community.


The Aide Foundation – food and clothing support

Beehive Pantry– bread donations

Blithewold – produce donations

Bristol County Elks – East Bay Cares – regular food donations, holiday food, healthy cooking class groceries

Bristol Warren School District – food and clothing support

Bristol Bagel Works– bagel donations

Coggeshall Farm Museum – produce donations

Division of Youth, Children, & Families – food and clothing support

Farm Fresh RI – food donations

First Congregational Church in Bristol – holiday programs, food donations, volunteers

Jamestown Community Farm– produce donations

Magaziner Farm – produce donations

McCoy Community Farm – produce donations

Methodist Community Garden– produce donations

Mount Hope Farm – produce donations

Roger Williams University– regular food donations, holiday food, volunteers

St. Mary’s Parish– holiday food

URI SNAP Education Department – SNAP registration, healthy food tastings, cooking classes

We Share Hope – food donations

Warren Community Garden – produce donations

Women’s Resource Center – food and clothing support


Rhode Island Community Food Bank

Bristol County Basic Needs Network

Healthy Eating and Active Living Collaborative, RI Department of Health

Bristol Merchants Association

Hours of Operation:

For clients:    Food Pantry  – Wednesdays 10 am–5 pm

Fresh Food Friday: Fridays 10 am – 4pm

Food4Kids:  2nd & 4th Friday of each month 10am – noon (school year)

Summer Food4Kids:  Fridays 10am – noon (10 weeks during summer vacation)

Food4Seniors:  3rd Friday of each month 10am – noon

For the public:    Thrift Shop – Wednesday 10 am-5 pm, Thursday 10 am-4 pm, Friday 10am-4 pm, Saturday 10 am-3 pm

Current Program Statistics:

Client Households – over 750 per month

Individuals – serving over 2,300 East Bay residents- 34% are children and 24% Senior Citizens

Volunteers – Currently 60 active volunteers in the Food Pantry and Thrift Shop

Statistics about hunger and food insecurity are available from the Rhode Island Food Bank.  For the most recent details, click here.


Board of Directors 2016:

  • Mary Mack Popham, President – Executive Vice President, Tri-Mack Plastics Manufacturing Corp.
  • Tricia McAvinn Krzywicki, Vice President – Executive Search Principal, Prestige Scientific
  • Beth Dyer, Secretary – Independent CAbi consultant, Fundraising/events volunteer Achievement Centers for Children and Lawrence School
  • Mary Catharine “MC” Miller –Treasurer Business Development Manager, Grace’s Distinctive Properties, Ltd.
  • Denise Arsenault – Retired educator, community volunteer, Founder- Community Strings Project
  • Patrick Barry – Attorney, Decof, Decof & Barry
  • Laura Butler – Grade 3 Teacher, Primrose Hill School, Barrington
  • Patricia Guida Salisbury – Retired Sales Representative; Founder and President, Puzzle Ride for Autis
  • Grace Steere – Retired M.D.; Owner, Equus LLC


  • Nicki Ann Tyska -Executive Director
  • Karen Griffith-Dieterich-Director of  Programs and Operations
  • Jodi Miller, Thrift Shop Coordinator
  • Laura Temple, Programs Assistant
  • Louise Dion, Customer Service and Cashier


Grants to Date: The East Bay Food Pantry has received grants from the following organizations:

  • The Rhode Island Foundation
  • The John Clarke Trust
  • Roger Williams University, Bristol FCA Grant
  • The Mary Dexter Chafee Fund
  • The Bristol Home for Aged Women
  • The Bristol Female Charitable Society
  • The Adelaide Dawson Lynch Memorial Trust
  • The Harry M, Miriam C, and William C Horton Fund
  • Bank Newport
  • Andrade Faxon Charitities for Children
  • The Carter Family Charitable Trust
  • RI Attorney General – Vitamin Grant
  • The Hassenfeld Foundation
  • Ocean State Charitable Foundation
  • RI State Legislature
  • Sovereign Bank Foundation
  • The Walmart Foundation
  • BJ’s Charitable Foundation
  • Episcopal Charities of RI
  • The Bristol Children’s Home Fund

Annual Report

Click here for 2015 Annual Report.

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