CoronavirusNews

Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank Continues to Serve

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — The Town of Portsmouth, RI community emergency food bank continues to serve the needs of those affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

The Food Bank, graciously hosted by St. Barnabas Church 1697 East Main Rd, started distribution on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.

People have been exceptionally generous in donating food.  Wendy Bulk, the Town staff coordinator for the Food Bank said, “The Food Bank has been ‘holding its own’ in serving those in need. Last week, we provided the equivalent of over 160 meals to over 70 families from throughout the local area.”

She added, “the Food Bank is staffed entirely by community volunteers who have been exceptional.  They have designed a ‘drive-up’ process where there is no need for people to exit their vehicle.  Volunteers ask for the number of people that are in need of food and pre-stocked bags are provided while minimizing individual contact and maximizing ‘social distancing.’ I can’t say enough about the tremendous support from St. Barnabas”.

The Town expects an increasing need to replenish the Food Bank throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Non-Perishable, non-expired food Items can be dropped off at the parish hall (church lower parking lot) from 8 AM to 4 PM, Monday through Friday.  Call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and leave a message if you need more information about donating food.

Food and food-related items needed include things such as:  cereal, pancake mix, syrup, mac & cheese, peanut butter, jelly, powdered milk, baked beans, canned fruit, pasta sauce, canned pasta, canned vegetables, canned tuna and  chicken, crackers, Minute Rice packages, canned soups, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and grocery store gift cards.

Families in need can come to the Food Bank (in the St. Barnabas Parish Hall, around the back of the church, lower parking lot) between 10am and 2pm Monday through Friday and follow the signs.  A Food Bank volunteer will meet you and bring food out to your car. People who are unable to get to the Food Bank between 10am and 2pm, please call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com and a Food Bank volunteer will get back to you within 24 hours to address your needs.

As the COVID-19 situation continues as will the need for volunteers at the Food Bank. If you desire to volunteer at the Food Bank to accept food, re-stock the shelves or have the ability to deliver food or pick up food donations from those who cannot come to the Food Bank, call 401-643-0323 or email portsmouthri.foodbank@gmail.com with the days/times available and what you would be interested in doing.

People have been exceptionally generous in donating food but they have also been very generous in donating money to help fill out the food inventory. Cash donations, that will go into a dedicated Food Bank account can be done by text (Text pefb to 555888 and click on your choice of a one-time gift or a recurring payment) or via a donation link (stbarnabasportsmouth.weshareonline.org and click on the “Make a Donation” button under the “Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank”). Funds can also be donated by a checks payable to the “Town of Portsmouth”. (Note “Food Bank” on the check and either hand-deliver to the Food Bank or mail to Portsmouth Community Food Bank, Portsmouth Town Hall, 2200 East Main Rd. Portsmouth, RI 02871. )

For more Information regarding the Portsmouth Emergency Food Bank, visit the Portsmouth Town Hall website at portsmouthri.com, or contact Wendy Bulk at the Portsmouth Town Hall by calling 401-787-0281 or emailing wbulk@portsmouthri.com.

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