Community Food Share Pantry

First Unitarian’s Community Food Share Pantry has been a continuously-operating monthly food distribution site for over 15 years on the third Monday of every month. As an agency of the Rhode Island Food Bank, CFS provides free food and household products to low-income families in the greater Providence community. Other services have included health care talks, free flu shots, and information about the SNAP (food stamp) program.

The Community Food Share Committee, which oversees and operates the CFS Pantry, purchases food from the RI Food Bank and We Share Hope. It also accepts donations from individuals and community groups.

The CFS Committee recruits a large team of volunteers who procure, set-up, and present the food and who coordinate the distribution each month. Children and youth from our Sunday school also assist the program. The program is endowed through a generous bequest from the late Dino Germani.

Contacts: Judy Ortman, Amy Grant

Homeless Shelter

The last Sunday of the month, First Unitarian prepares and delivers a meal to the residents of Emmanuel House, a homeless shelter in Providence started by the Catholic Diocese of Providence to address a growing emergency need for shelter. Coordinated by our Neighborhood Social Justice Committee, First Unitarian also collects clothing and food to be donated to the residents of Emmanuel House. Many volunteer opportunities exist to help with this mission.

The Neighborhood Social Justice Committee provides other volunteer opportunities to work beyond our church doors, hand in hand with those in our neighborhood who have been socially, economically, or legally marginalized.

Contacts: Joe Salvatore and Chiara Romano Van Erp

Girl Effect Task Force

The Girl Effect Task Force raises funds to support girls’ education mostly in less-developed countries. We follow the example of The Girl Effect, a nonprofit founded on the principle that, “Girls are the most powerful force for change on the planet.”

We raise funds by selling Fair Trade handicrafts from less-developed countries, also benefiting those who make the crafts.

The Girl Effect Task Force has donated funds to Heshima, Kenya; the Kibera Girls’ Soccer Academy in Nairobi, Kenya; the Malala Fund’s Gulmakai Network; San Lucas Toliman Scholars in Guatemala; and Save Every Last Girl program of Save the Children in Afghanistan.

Contact: Polly Walker