Fourth annual RIPTA food drive kicks off Saturday

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CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The Fourth Annual RIPTA Food Drive kicked off Saturday, as donations were collected outside of Whole Foods and Shore’s Market for those in need.

At the Shores on Atwood Avenue in Cranston, Joan Ferrante was the first person to make a donation.

“I’m very grateful for my family and I have food and a house to live in. There’s people that are homeless and I feel really, really bad,” said Ferrante.

RIPTA is collecting cash donations and food to help the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. The goal is to stuff one of their buses.

“The Rhode Island Community Food Bank has noticed that over the years people donating has actually dropped, believe it or not,” said Dan Bannister, the Marketing and Outreach Manager for RIPTA. “So what we’re trying to do is just bring more awareness, being in the supermarkets especially on the weekend prior to Thanksgiving, hoping that people will be giving since they see us, we’re right in the front, kind of helping motivate people to give. That one dollar that you donate, it could be boxes of pasta. It makes a huge difference.”

The event is also taking place at two Whole Foods; one in Cranston, the other in Providence.

“It’s the people who need help who actually give more, believe it or not, which is awesome. They come in – they’re happy to give, some people have a couple of bucks on them, they donate it. People get really giving on the holidays and it’s good to know,” added Bannister.

Last year, 900 pounds of food was donated right back into the community from the event. This year, Bannister is hopeful the Stuff-A-Bus event pulls in three to five thousand pounds of food.

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