Helping Unhoused Rhode Islanders 
Get the Essentials They Need
We Share Hope recently announced a new program, in partnership with the Rhode Island Coalition to End Homelessness. The H.O.M.E. (Hotel Motel Empowerment) Program will provide Rhode Islanders who are experiencing homelessness and living in motels with free, weekly deliveries of food to help them get through these difficult times.

The idea for the program took root last November when a gentleman contacted We Share Hope asking for help. It was the day before Thanksgiving, and he was living in a motel with his wife and three children. He was desperate for food to get them through the Thanksgiving school break. The team at We Share Hope immediately mobilized, filling three bags with shelf-stable and microwavable items to deliver along with a Stop & Shop gift card.

We knew there were others in this same situation but didn’t know how to find them. Linking up with The Coalition to End Homelessness has been the missing piece of the puzzle.

Their state-funded program provides motel rooms for Rhode Islanders experiencing homelessness, and they work with several motels throughout the state. The Coalition provided We Share Hope with the list of properties, and the number of clients at each property.
Using this list, We Share Hope has begun to provide weekly deliveries of produce, shelf-stable and refrigerated items to each property.

“It was really important to us that we provide items that can be cooked using a microwave, which is the only cooking option in the rooms. In addition, we are mindful about bringing fresh and healthy produce which are often harder for people facing food insecurity to find.” shares Emily Crandell, We Share Hope’s Director of Programs.

We piloted the program by delivering to two properties and have now expanded to four. Plans are underway for a complete roll out by the end of October. “Partnering with the Coalition has been incredibly rewarding. Every motel has an on-site coordinator from the Coalition who makes sure their clients know we’re coming. Many clients are waiting for us when we arrive, and the feedback has been very positive.” says Crandell.

The food that We Share Hope provides comes from two sources: surplus food donated to us from our partners in the food industry, and Rhode Islanders who donate through our Pantry Pickup program. The H.O.M.E. program is another example of how we make the most of those donations: reducing waste and feeding Rhode Islanders at the same time.
A Note from Our Executive Director
Stone Soup

One of my favorite childhood stories is the tale of “Stone Soup.”

In this parable, a traveler visits a famine-stricken village where the villagers hide what little they have from their neighbors. The traveler offers to make an incredible soup using only one ingredient: a stone he pulls from his bag.

As he boils the stone in a big pot of water, he persuades each villager to improve the soup by adding one ingredient from their reserve of food. At the end of the story, the entire village enjoys a delicious soup thanks to their willingness to share what they had. The villagers learn that collaboration and sharing will not only create a tasty meal but connect them in a deeper way.

The spirit of the Stone Soup story is alive and well at We Share Hope. Our volunteers share their time and energy to help us every day, our Hope Market guests often pick up extra items to share with others in need, and we build our programs by sharing resources with other organizations to make a deeper impact.

Our two most recent programs are great examples: Working with the RI Coalition to End Homelessness has made it possible to find and serve unhoused Rhode Islanders living in motels, and partnering with PVD Community Fridge has made it easier to keep street-side refrigerators stocked with free food for people who need it.

Just as the villagers gained more than a great meal, the spirit of sharing helps us all do more for the greater good. What a delicious recipe we create- together!
Providence Journal’s Reader’s Choice Awards: “Best Nonprofit” for the 4th year! 

On Sunday, September 19th, The Providence Journal revealed the winners of the 2021 Reader’s Choice Awards. We are thrilled to share that, thanks to your votes, we’ve held on to our title as “Best Nonprofit” for the 4th year in a row!

We celebrated with a community BBQ where we were able to thank many of our supporters in person while serving up a tasty meal of hamburgers, hotdogs, and freshly baked cookies. We are so grateful for your votes, and for your support of our work to reduce food insecurity throughout Rhode Island. Thank you!
Rebuilding Lives, One Home-Cooked Meal at a Time

Over the next few months, Rhode Island will welcome up to 250 evacuees from Afghanistan who fled their country after the Taliban regime took control of the government. The Dorcas International Institute is coordinating the resettlement efforts and we recently reached out to offer our help. We are pleased to report that We Share Hope will serve as the main point of contact for collecting and distributing free weekly food deliveries to ensure our new neighbors do not experience food insecurity as they rebuild their lives.

Most of the Afghans who left their country weren’t able to bring any possessions with them and they will need a lot of support to create new lives here in Rhode Island. It is our goal to welcome them with open arms and do everything we can to help them feel settled as quickly as possible.

As we all know “food is home” and we are committed to providing culturally appropriate ingredients so they can recreate recipes that remind them of home. To ensure the food we provide is a good fit, we are coordinating targeted food drives with schools, companies, and professional groups to collect the staples needed for traditional recipes. Partners like Ocean State Job Lot and WEBOND have stepped up to create “starter kits” of specific spices, We Heart Lives is hosting a big rice and bean drive, and other groups have pledged to provide fresh produce. Want to help? We still need volunteers to organize collections for any of the items on the list below. In addition, we will need volunteers to help us assemble and deliver the food boxes on a weekly basis. This project is a way for the Rhode Island community to come together and welcome our new neighbors. After the trauma and stress they have suffered, hopefully, they will find a soft place to land here in our beautiful Ocean State.
Beans and Rice:
Kidney Beans
Mung Beans
Split Peas
Rice (the least processed Basmati rice you are able to find)
Long grain rice
Short grain rice
Dried Fruits/Nuts: 
Green and red raisins
Dried apricots

Other Staples: 
Black tea
When Life Gives You Pasta

What do you do with over 14,400 pounds of elbow macaroni? This is the challenge we encountered this summer after receiving an incredible donation from Kettle Cuisine. They shipped us twelve huge boxes containing 1,200 pounds of elbow macaroni in each. Finding ways to get it bagged into 1-pound portions took a little creativity, but inspiration struck and our newest event, Mission: Impastable was born. Our friends from Beacon Mutual, Thrivent, The Hire, Mega Disposal, Fresh Rebellion, Skyline, and Old Navy assembled teams of their best baggers and scoopers to see who could bag the most pasta in a two-hour time frame. This fast-paced competition also included a live DJ, and the comedic talents of Rhode Island’s own funny guy, Frank O’Donnell.

The results were amazing. Combined, the teams bagged 9,864 pounds of pasta and Team Old Navy emerged victorious, scooping 2,494 bags, and winning the ‘Golden Macaroni’ trophy created by youth at the Northern Rhode Island Boys and Girls Club. We are so grateful to all the teams; thanks to their efforts we were able to turn big boxes of pasta into a big win!
We Share Hope Awarded RI Gives Vax Challenge Grant
We Share Hope was recently awarded a $10,000 grant through the RI Gives Vax Challenge. This initiative encouraged Rhode Islanders to get vaccinated by providing grants to nonprofits on the front lines of responding to the COVID-19 crisis.

When the Rhode Island Community achieved vaccination milestones, selected nonprofits received $10,000 grants.

We Share Hope was recognized for maintaining continuous operation during the pandemic and selected as one of the grant recipients. Thank you to the Rhode Island Foundation for administering the program and thank you to the Rhode Islanders who helped achieve the vaccination milestone!
Faces of Hope Market
Over 400 people visit Hope Market every week. Meet a few of our familiar faces!
“Besides the kind, welcoming and helpful volunteers that are found at Hope Market, we are grateful we can stretch our budget with these low cost options.”
~Candy & Dennis
“Hope Market makes it possible for me to eat fresh, high quality foods on a
student’s budget.”
~ Christina
“My favorite thing about Hope Market is that all of the food offered, from the fresh produce to the frozen meats, are being given another chance rather than going straight to the landfill.”