East Providence unveils new food pantry amidst ‘dire’ food security in Rhode Island

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The “Townie Pride Pantry” opened its doors Thursday alongside Mayor Bob DaSilva, Stop & Shop, and We Share Hope.

The pantry next to East Providence High School aims to improve access to food for students and families.

Mayor DaSilva told ABC 6 the food pantry will deliver resources directly to those in need.

“Putting together bags, bringing them to different schools where these children are so the parents don’t feel that stigma,” said DaSilva.

Stop & Shop is granting $25,000 for resources.

We Share Hope plans to deliver food biweekly to the pantry as well. The organization’s executive director Johanna Corcoran said they’re nonprofit is aimed at making food more accessible to all in Southern New England.

“We have seen a 150% increase in the people who visit our food pantries on cite alone,” she said. “The faces of food insecurity would really shock you. They are our neighbors, they are our classmates, and it’s our responsibility to do what we can to get them food they need so they can get out of poverty.”

We Share Hope also plans to expand across the ocean state.

Corcoran classifies food insecurity in Rhode Island as a “dire situation.”

She added, “We’ve got our eyes on Woonsocket. We have our eyes on additional schools in Providence. There is more need than we can really sustain on our own. But with great partners… we are going to make it happen.”

As of Thursday, the pantry is open to those in need across the city.

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