Local emergency food pantries typically receive the highest volume of donations during the holiday season, but low-income families’ need for food continues year round.
If you want to donate food to your local emergency food pantry, here are some of the most-needed items, according to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Foods six months past their expiration are not accepted, nor are homemade products or glass jars of baby food. Boxed cereals and formula are welcome if unopened and within date code.
Some pantries also accept donations of meat and dairy items; check with a pantry first to see if it will accept these items.
• Protein — Peanut butter, tuna, canned and dried beans, canned chili, soups and stews
• Carbohydrates — Nutritious breakfast cereals, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, boxed macaroni and cheese, granola bars, cheese and cracker packages
• Fruits and vegetables — Canned fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tomato sauce, jams and jelly
• Miscellaneous — Extra-virgin olive oil
Here’s a list of some local emergency food providers that work with the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Most of them serve beyond the city or town in which they’re located, so check with each pantry about eligibility. Also, call ahead to confirm whether a pantry is open, as its hours may be different during the holidays.
Where: 281 County Road (below library)
Hours: 9 a.m. to noon, Monday to Friday
More info: 401/247-1444 or www.tapinri.com
• Bristol Good Neighbors Pantry
Where: 378 Hope St.
Hours: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday-Friday for pantry; 8-10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to noon, Monday-Friday, for meal site
More info: 401/254-0726 or http://bristolgoodneighbors.org
• East Bay Food Pantry
Where: 150 Franklin St.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday (10 a.m. to noon Friday for produce only)
More info: 401/396-9490 or http://eastbayfoodpantry.org
• Friends of St. Elizabeth
Where: St. Elizabeth Church, 10 Monroe Ave., Bristol
Hours: 5:30-6:30 p.m. Mondays
More info: 401/585-9889
• East Bay Community Action Program Pantry
Where: 100 Bullocks Point Ave.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday and Friday; noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. Wednesday
More info: 401/437-0006, ext. 127, or www.ebcap.org
• Bread of Life Food Pantry
Where: Newman Congregational Church, 100 Newman Ave., Rumford
Hours: 5-7 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of the month; also open Tuesday, Dec. 11 and 18
More info: 401/434-4742 or www.newmanucc.org
Where: The Wellness Center, 115 East Main Road, Little Compton
Hours: 9-10 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays
More info: 401/635-2722
Portuguese SDA Church Pantry
Where: 781 Newman Ave.
Hours: 6:30-7:30 p.m. the third Wednesday of the month
More info: 508/761-9181
East Bay Community Action Program
Where: 1048 Stafford Road
Hours: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday and 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday; also by appointment
More info: 401/625-5134 or www.ebcap.org
St. Vincent de Paul Society Food Pantry
Where: St. Mary of the Bay, 645 Main St.
Hours: 3-6 p.m. Tuesday; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday
More info: 401/245-7000, ext. 19, or www.stmaryofthebay.com
Where: Food for Friends, Council on Aging Senior Center, 75 Reed Road, Westport
Hours: 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursdays (except on holidays) and from 9 a.m. to noon the third Saturday or each month; donations can be dropped off between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday to Friday
More info: 508/636-1026 (Open only for Westport residents who are in need of food; residents must be at least 18 and have photo ID.)