EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The local non-profit group “We Share Hope” helps families put food on their tables while also being cost-effective during the holiday season.

The market uses 15 local grocery stores to collect food donations. Often times, the food items don’t fit the cosmetic standards of a grocery store.

It allows people like Melissa Moss to fill up to three bags of food for $5 each.

“It helps us to be able to afford basic necessities and to be able to help others at the same time. a small budget can go so far,” Moss said.

Moss shops at the market once a week to get groceries for her loved ones. She said that, during the holiday season, the market is extra helpful because a small amount of money can go a long way.

“A loaf of bread and a couple cans of soup can feed a family of three to five and it’s typically only a couple of dollars,” she said. “I mean, cans of these soups go for $5 now a days.”

Executive Director Johanna Corcran said We Share Hope has seen a major uptick in customers.

“We used to see about 500 people a week, but over the last couple of months our numbers are averaging about 850 people a week,” Corcran said.

That’s a 70% increase of shoppers utilizing the market to help feed their families.