Local Food Pantry Closes Its Doors

The Poverello Center in Providence has been serving food to about 1900 families per month since 2005. All walks of people come through the pantry, elderly, first time home owners, young families and anyone else that may need some extra help. For the director of Poverello Center, Elizabeth O'Dea, the patrons and volunteers at the center have become a second family. She says, “we know all about everyone's families, we know when there has been a loss or when there is a celebration. We're included in all of that.”

For many, the center provides much more than food. On staff besides O'Dea are two nurses, volunteers include doctors and former school teachers.

The Franciscans have overseen the pantry, relying on donations to keep the center open. Now, those funds have dried up and the center is closing.  O'Dea feels a sense of loss, “we're very sad we find our program to be a unique one, we are all here with our hearts, and with our energy and spirits which we think is very positive.”

The center will officially close its doors on February 23. Volunteers are handing out lists of other pantries to patrons. But all hope is not lost, O'Dea says an ideal situation would be if someone or a group will pick up where they leave off.