Watch a Food Bank Update with CEO Andrew Schiff& CAPP Executive Director Rilwan Feyisitan
View the video below for an update on our response to the increased demand for food as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. CEO Andrew Schiff is joined by Rilwan Feyisitan, Executive Director of the Community Action Partnership of Providence, a member agency of the Food Bank, to discuss the challenges both organizations face as we ensure no one in Rhode Island goes hungry.
An Unprecedented Time at CAPP
"We are literally all hands on deck.”
- Rilwan Feyisitan, Executive Director
Community Action Partnership of Providence (CAPP)
CAPP's food pantry was only open in their new location one month before COVID-19 hit Rhode Island. The agency provides a wide range of social services and resources to neighbors on the south side of the city, an area hard hit by the pandemic.
“The need has been phenomenal," says Rilwan, shown here preparing food for distribution. "It’s been an unprecedented time. Half of our normal staff are not working during this time. We are actually standing up and manning our pantry with senior staff and a handful of volunteers. We are literally all hands on deck making sure we are taking care of the thousand plus people who are coming through our doors.”
Adapting During the Crisis
CAPP only recently moved to a new location, a larger building and former community center with a huge kitchen and storage area, and space for community meals. With only a few weeks of operation under their belt, they radically shifted their procedures to allow for social distancing and safe food pickup. These measures have paid off, and they are able to serve more guests than ever before, safely.
Again, Rilwan shares, “It’s an interesting time. I have a public health background and spent many years looking at social determinants of health, looking at food insecurity and looking at the many other issues that affect our communities.”
Rilwan reported that many of the guests coming to his agency are new, often seeking food assistance for the first time.
“What has been really eye opening is that from April 3 to May 20, we had 1,033 pantry recipients coming through our doors. Of those, 601 were new to our pantry. We are really happy that we can say we’ve not had to turn anyone away; everyone is getting those basic needs met.”
Click below to watch the pre-recorded town hall:
Thank you to the Mr. Schiff and the Food Bank for highlighting CAPP and the ways we are continuing to serve Providence residents in need!
Above text reposted from a communication directly from the RICFB