bread of life food pantry

The Bread of Life Food Pantry is located at Newman Congregational Church, 100 Newman Avenue, Rumford, RI 02916. The pantry is a collaborative ecumenical effort of six East Providence churches: Bethany Church of the Nazarene, Church of the Epiphany, Evangelical Covenant Church, Haven United Methodist Church, Newman Congregational Church, and St. Margaret Church.

The Bread of Life Food Pantry is open to all those in need of food assistance from East Providence and surrounding communities regardless of religious beliefs.

In a typical month, 200 households receive assistance from the Bread of Life Food Pantry. Also each month, 50 volunteers attend the pantry openings to serve the clients and another 35 volunteers work behind the scenes facilitating the delivery, inspection, sorting and stocking of the food.

The Bread of Life Food Pantry is indeed a remarkable operation that has been successful in fulfilling its mission to “serve as a resource for people experiencing food insecurity.” It has also been successful in creating a true sense of community among its volunteers as they work alongside one another, and between the volunteers and the clients as support is given and received.

how we operate

The pantry is open the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Scheduled Openings for 2020 are:

January 14 & 28

February 11 & 25

March 10 & 24

April 14 & 28

May 12 & 26

June 9 & 23

July 14 & 28

August 11 & 25

September 8 & 22

October 13 & 27

November 10 & 24

December 8 & 15 (not December 22)

CHANGES TO NORMAL SCHEDULE IN 2020:  Please note that in December, we will be open the 2nd & 3rd Tuesdays, not the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays.  Beginning in January 2021, we will resume the normal schedule of being open the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays.

Clients are allowed to visit the pantry only once a month.

Clients are encouraged to bring their own shopping bags; however, bags are available at the pantry if needed.

Clients are also encouraged to bring a driver's license or another form of identification to register at the pantry.

There are no eligibility requirements. All clients are welcome regardless of their income level, city of residence or citizenship status.

Parking is available in the church parking lot, in the lot across the street, and along Newman Avenue. Volunteers are on hand to assist clients in carrying their groceries to their cars.

The pantry opens at 5 p.m. Numbered tickets are handed out in random order to the group of clients waiting to enter the pantry right at 5 p.m. Therefore, clients should understand that there is no advantage to arriving earlier than 5 p.m. It is our hope that by discouraging clients from arriving too early, Newman Church’s parking lot will be kept clear for the church’s use until 5 p.m. Clients who arrive after 5 p.m. will receive their tickets in numbered order.

Clients are offered two ways in which to receive their groceries: Clients may either shop in the Pantry Room and choose the exact food items they would like for their households or they may receive pre-bagged packages of groceries. Clients will move through the “pre-bagged groceries” option much more quickly than the “shopping” option.

A representative from the URI Feinstein Center for a Hunger Free America is usually on site during all Pantry openings to assist clients in signing up for food stamps (SNAP.)

The pantry will not open if the East Providence schools are dismissed early or closed for the day due to bad weather. The pantry will not open again until the next scheduled opening.

Secondary Title

how to donate

Food and monetary donations to the pantry are greatly appreciated. 

Food items that are especially needed include: soup, cereal, spaghetti sauce, tuna and crackers. Typically, food donations can be dropped off at the church Tuesdays Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., or between 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.; and on Fridays between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. However, please call the church office at Newman Congregational Church at 401-434-4742 to arrange your drop-off.

Monetary donations can be made by writing a check to “Newman Congregational Church” with “Bread of Life Food Pantry” written in the memo line. Checks should be mailed to Newman Congregational Church, 100 Newman Avenue, Rumford, RI 02916. Donors will receive an acknowledgement that their checks have been received by the pantry.

Secondary Title

how to volunteer

If you are interested in volunteering at the Pantry, please contact us at or call your church office.

A crew of 25 volunteers is needed for each pantry opening. We currently have a pool of approximately 100 volunteers who are rotated through the following positions:   

Greeter: Greets clients as they arrive at the pantry and hands them a numbered ticket. 

Intake: Meets with clients and records information such as name, address, and number of individuals in the household. 

Shopper: Assists clients as they shop for standard food items in the Pantry Room. 

Bread Table: Assists clients in selecting bread. Miscellaneous Table: Assists clients in selecting miscellaneous food items. 

Bagger: Bags clients’ food items. 

Escort: Assists clients in carrying their shopping bags to their cars. 

Stocker: Re-stocks the pantry as the food inventory in the Pantry Room runs low.

In addition, there are several behind-the-scenes volunteer opportunities as well:

Food delivery crew: Unloads pallets of food delivered by the Rhode Island Community Food Bank on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays and transports them into the Pantry and Stock Rooms. This group is also on-call to pick up donations from organizations that are unable to deliver the items themselves. 

Stocking crews: Stock the Pantry Room for each opening. Also prepare bags for Upstairs pre-bag shopping option and for home deliveries to Office Parkway and Rumford Towers. 

Shoppers: Shop at RI Community Food Bank and at Price Rite and Shaw’s for food not provided by the two monthly deliveries by the Food Bank. 

Pantry set-up crew: Prepare rooms upstairs and downstairs for each pantry opening. 

Home delivery crew: Delivers bags of groceries to Office Parkway and Rumford Towers once a month.