In response to the high need for food assistance among East Bay residents, BankNewport has awarded a total of $15,000 in charitable grants through its Community Fund to three local organizations committed to helping the less fortunate meet their basic needs.
Good Neighbors, a soup kitchen, food pantry and day shelter in Riverside; Friends of Saint Elizabeth food pantry in Bristol; and Saint Vincent DePaul Society/Saint Joseph’s Conference in Newport have each received a $5,000 grant in support of their work.
“Helping our neighbors in need with life’s necessities remains a major focus of BankNewport’s philanthropic mission, and I can’t think of anything more important than ensuring the most vulnerable among us have food on the table,” said Sandra J. Pattie, President and CEO of BankNewport. “Food is the most basic of all needs that we share – no one, especially children, should ever have to worry about where their next meal will come from.”
With its $5,000 grant from BankNewport, Good Neighbors will purchase additional food for its food pantry, soup kitchen, and day shelter program, along with equipment that will help expand organizational capacity to meet the needs of a growing client population. In addition to its food pantry, Good Neighbors offers a hot, nutritious breakfast and lunch each weekday, complemented by a resource center to help those seeking employment and social services. In 2017 alone, the organization served more than 24,000 meals and distributed more than 1,800 bags of groceries to local residents, more than any other year during its 27-year history. And although more than four months remain in 2018, Good Neighbors is currently on track to exceed the record numbers it experienced in 2017.
As the nonprofit outreach program of St. Elizabeth’s Church of Bristol, Friends of Saint Elizabeth (FOSE) is run entirely by volunteers dedicated to serving the underprivileged in the communities of Bristol and Warren. Thanks to funding from BankNewport, FOSE will further the reach of its support services for those experiencing economic hardship. What began as a program to distribute food and toiletries to the needy has steadily grown to now provide help with utility bills, housing and rental assistance to avoid homelessness, and medical assistance to defray the costs of prescriptions. Among the more than 200 families served annually by FOSE, many are the working poor, whose income falls below the poverty line due to low wages.
The Saint Vincent DePaul Society/Saint Joseph’s Conference in Newport has been awarded $5,000 from BankNewport’s Community Fund to help fund its Emergency Financial Assistance program. Representing the organization’s largest ongoing program, financial assistance is made available to families and individuals facing basic need emergencies, such as eviction and homelessness, a lack of adequate food, utility shut-off, prescription and medical costs, clothing, and more. During the past year, the Emergency Financial Assistance program assisted 421 households, comprised of 986 individuals, including children. Saint Vincent DePaul Society/Saint Joseph’s Conference also operates a soup kitchen and food pantry. Combined, these food assistance programs served 7,370 Aquidneck Island residents in 2017.
Founded in 1819 and headquartered in Newport, BankNewport offers a full suite of loan and deposit products and services for families and businesses throughout Rhode Island. In addition, OceanPoint Insurance Agency, Inc., a subsidiary of BankNewport, offers a broad range of property casualty insurance products and a full array of financial services. With 17 banking offices and $1.6 billion in assets, BankNewport is one of the oldest community banks in the United States and, as a mutual organization, is committed to the financial success of its customers, employees and communities. For more information, visit www.BankNewport.com.