Jewish Collaborative Services (JCS) is home to the only kosher food pantry in Rhode Island and Southeastern MA. The Full Plate Kosher Food Pantry (The Full Plate) is also a designated emergency provider of food by the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Throughout the year, JCS’ team of volunteers, run by Marcie Ingber, food pantry Coordinator, provides healthy food offerings that meet kosher dietary laws to food insecure Jewish and Halal households statewide. Distributions include kosher chicken, produce, and a wide range of nonperishable foods, along with personal care items.
In the past two years, the COVID 19 pandemic has impacted the lives of Rhode Island Jewish families in many ways. Households who previously were not considered food insecure found themselves struggling and turned to The Full Plate for support. This increase in need put a financial strain on an already limited food pantry budget.
Recently, Marcie and Janelle “JC” Roussel, Director of Clinical and Community Services, applied for and received a $50,000 Food Insecurity Grant through the RI Foundation to help meet the increase in customer needs and operational improvements.
“Funds from this grant offers us the opportunity to serve more food insecure customers as well as more kosher items to customers,” explains Marcie. The grant also allows The Full Plate to expand its customer base. We are working on outreach to both Providence Hebrew Day School and the Jewish Community Day School along with all Rabbis in Rhode Island. “The goal of this is to make sure that no family or individual who is struggling to meet their monthly expenses has difficulty putting enough food on their table.”
“This grant will also allow the pantry to purchase another double door freezer and possibly another reach-in refrigerator so that we can offer more items to our customers,” continues Marcie. “We are also working on expanding our current inventory to include more condiments and toiletries.”
“The new (second) double door freezer will require some electrical work on the building and expansion of space,” adds JC. “This will benefit the pantry and customers by allowing us to obtain more frozen items and more space to receive, hold, and distribute these items.”
Of equal importance, funds from this grant will also support the purchase and implementation of a Point of Sale (POS) system to improve The Full Plate’s operations. Currently, the pantry’s food inventory and reporting are completed manually. The POS system will keep track of all customer visits and inventory in real-time, allowing the pantry to keep a more accurate inventory of items received and distributed, and track household size and food preferences.
Would you like to volunteer or donate to The Full Plate Kosher Food Pantry?
The food pantry is always accepting food donations. Current food items that would be helpful include canned tuna and sardines, chunky peanut butter, kosher soups, crackers, and toiletries.
For more information please email Marcie, Pantry Coordinator, or call 401-331-1244.