Giving Back: ‘Project Hand Up’ Helping To Keep Food on Table for Hundreds of RI’ers

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WEST WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) – Since the Coronavirus, more and more people are finding it hard to keep food on the table.

Now, a local supplemental food program in West Warwick wants to help.

“We went from about 100 people in a 3 hour period to 300 or more in a 4 hour period. We changed our whole way of doing things. We pre-pack bags now. We stand outside. They pull in they can drive through and the volunteers will pack their car and off they go.”

Coreen St. Jean is the founder of Project Hand Up.

She says, “It started like 5 years ago, this whole thing. We started running around in a van feeding the homeless; me , my daughter and another woman and it kept snowballing and after 5 years here we are.”

A bag of groceries is just $3 and the proceeds go back into the organization’s operating costs. All of the food is donated from local stores.

“We get our food from Job Lot, Panera, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Shaw’s, Stop and Shop just about everywhere and they’ve been more than generous with their food.”

St. Jean tells me none of this would be possible without her volunteers.

“I have the best volunteers in the whole state of Rhode Island I can guarantee you that. They’ve been here through thick and thin, no matter what they are here every single day working their hearts out.”

If you would like to take part in Project Hand Up’s services they are located at 15 Factory Street in West Warwick and open on Tuesdays and Thurdays from 2 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Due to the high demand staff have had to set up an alphabetical system for service.

We want to share your stories of kindness and compassion here on Eyewitness News. You can send me an email at msardelli@wpri.com or find me on Facebook and Twitter and we may share your stories in the days ahead.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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