October 22, 2020

Good Neighbors Celebrates 30 Years of Feeding Rhode Islanders in Need

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Riverside, R.I. (Sept. 28, 2020) -- Good Neighbors, a nonprofit community organization that has continued to feed hundreds of Rhode Islanders during the COVID-19 pandemic, will celebrate 30 years of service with a month-long fundraising effort in October.

The anniversary celebration will kick off Thursday, Oct. 1, with a 30-day online auction and culminate with a live online broadcast, “Celebrating 30 Years of Good Neighbors: A Virtual Souper Soiree,” at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 30. Tickets for the Oct. 30 event, which will be hosted by Executive Director Ric Wild, can be purchased now at [shortened url].

Those unable to attend the Virtual Souper Soiree can still support Good Neighbors through the online auction and Giving Tree. The auction will feature items donated by local businesses such as hand-blown glasses from Pean Doubulyu, a wine basket from Gasbarro’s or robotic therapy pets from Joy For All. Supporters can also make Giving Tree purchases of food, hygiene items and other necessities for clients.

Good Neighbors is a soup kitchen, food pantry and day shelter for people experiencing homelessness and/or food insecurity. The organization hopes to raise $30,000 to help meet the growing needs of Rhode Islanders and to fulfill its mission: “to nourish the whole person by providing healthy food, dignifying space, and a community of support.”

“We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of people coming to the food pantry since the coronavirus pandemic started,” Wild said. “Many have never needed help before, but are now struggling to make ends meet. Your support of the 30th anniversary event -- whether you purchase a ticket, make a donation or bid in the online auction -- will help to ensure that Good Neighbors can continue to be a vital resource for everyone in our community who needs a helping hand in this challenging time.”

Good Neighbors was founded in 1990 at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Bristol, R.I., and moved to its current location, at St. Brendan Parish in Riverside, in 2014. Each year, with the help of hundreds of dedicated volunteers and supporters, the soup kitchen serves tens of thousands of meals and the food pantry serves thousands of local families.

This year the work of Good Neighbors is more important than ever. In March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it suspended soup kitchen and day shelter operations. Quickly, the organization expanded its food pantry to offer drive-through, contact-less food distribution twice a week. They also began a twice-a-week meal delivery service, with volunteers preparing and delivering hot meals to Riverside residents. Since March 1, Good Neighbors has served 895 households, representing 2,252 individuals, through the food pantry as well as 614 hot meals.

“Thank you to our generous donors and volunteers for responding to the needs of our community,” Jennifer Oristaglio, president of the board of directors, said. “Funds raised from this anniversary will allow us to continue providing our neighbors with more complete, healthy meals and basic necessities.”

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Good Neighbors is a nonprofit service organization that operates a soup kitchen, food pantry and day shelter for people experiencing homelessness and/or food insecurity. It is located at Saint Brendan Parish, 55 Turner Ave., Riverside, R.I. Find more information at www.goodneighborsri.org and www.facebook.com/GoodNeighborsRI 


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