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Donate Funds Day: Help the RI Food Bank replenish its pantries

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EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The coronavirus pandemic has impacted everyone, and one of the best ways to support each other during these unprecedented times is to raise funds for the food bank and help replenish their pantries.

During an average month, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank distributes 1 million pounds of food, but because of the pandemic, that increased to 1.3 million pounds in March, according to the food bank’s CEO Andrew Schiff.

Schiff said they expect the demand for food to continue to rise as the pandemic continues and they’re working overtime to keep food pantries and meal programs stocked.

“We’re just ordering more and more and bringing it in, and every day our trucks are out delivering to food pantries to keep them full so they don’t have to turn anyone away,” he said. “Now, on top of the people we usually serve by the food bank, we have so many new people turning to us for help who are recently unemployed just in the last few weeks, and have run through their savings and food and they need food assistance.”

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Schiff said they have had to completely change the way they work. He said they often rely on food drives to secure donations, but those drives have been canceled because of COVID-19.

“A lot of people in the last few weeks have gone to the store and have experienced food shortages,” he added. “For some people, it’s the first time ever they have seen what food shortages are like. I think that it’s given everyone more empathy for folks who are experiencing food insecurity on a regular basis.”

Schiff said the food bank is also working with the R.I. Emergency Management Agency to collect food donations. In the past few weeks, he said the food bank has been able to distribute 100,000 meals throughout Rhode Island.

WPRI 12 is proud to assist the R.I. Community Food Bank with collecting donations. Remember, we are all in this together.

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