Food Pantry


Please click here for the most current Food Pantry policies. 

The information below is presented for reference purposes.

Getting food is easy.


On Monday, April 30th 2018 the Jonnycake Center changed our Pantry model to full client choice. This means that our clients will now have the choice to come into the pantry and shop for themselves with the assistance of a volunteer. They can of course choose to have the volunteers shop for them if that’s what they prefer! Guests to the pantry will continue to check in at Social Services as done previously, and then come to the pantry. Our Pantry services are still offered on a monthly basis to our clients.


Qualified residents of the towns of Charlestown, Hopkinton, Richmond and Westerly, Rhode Island may receive a one week supply of food for each member of the household every thirty days.  Food baskets contain enough food for 21 meals per person – three meals per day for seven days.  Food items include milk, eggs, cheese, meat, bread, assorted produce, and a variety of non-perishable groceries.

General Information



When can I get food?

Mondays 12 – 3
Tuesdays 9 – 12
Wednesdays 9 – 12
Thursdays 9 – 12
Fridays 9 – 12


How do I get food?


1.  Begin by coming in to the Social Services Department and filling out a Food Request form which is like a grocery list of the food available in the pantry. You select what items you would like to receive and then verify if you have any allergies or other dietary restrictions. Your order is assigned a number.


2.  You then can drive your car around to the back of the building to the back loading dock. The form is then sent up to the food pantry where staff and volunteers fill the order.


3.  When the order is complete the staff or volunteer who filled the order will bring out the food to the back loading dock and will call your number, rather than your name to ensure privacy.



How long does it take to fill the order?


It normally takes about twenty minutes. More clients need food assistance in the second half of the month, so you may wait a little longer after the 15th.  Food requests are processed in the order in which they are received.  We ask that you obtain your food order prior to shopping in the store, and we request that you do not smoke in the back of the building out of respect for other clients, staff, and volunteers.



What if I run out of food before thirty days have gone by?


You can visit the Social Services Department and request an emergency food basket which will give you enough food for a few days. They will also refer you to other local food pantries which you may use.



I am diabetic and on heart medicine. Is there food available for me?


Yes.  Just complete the top section of the Food Request Form to indicate you are diabetic and on heart medicine and we will select the best healthy food choices for you that we have available in our pantry.  Please also indicate if you have any food allergies.



Where does the food come from?


The Jonnycake Center of Westerly is a member agency of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank where we purchase a majority of the food we provide (more than 2 tons of food per month). We also partner with Rhody Fresh Milk and local grocery stores to supply fresh milk, meat, and other essentials. Additionally, many in our community generously donate food, either individually or through local food drives.



The Rhode Island Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is available to eligible individuals and families in need of  food assistance. Call our Social Services Department at 401-377-8069 ext 101 to learn how to apply.


Power Pack Program

Our weekend backpack program, Power Pack, started in February 2016 as a pilot program in one elementary school serving six families and less than 20 children.  As of the end of the 2016-2017 school year, our weekend Power Pack program served 40 families with 115 children across 3 local elementary schools.  Nutritious Power Pack grocery bags are packed with enough weekend meals for all school aged children within a family, not just those in the elementary schools .  We provide breakfast, lunch, and snacks on weekends to help bridge the gap for students receiving free/reduced lunch during the school week.


SPLASH Program

The Summer Program Looking to Alleviate Student Hunger (SPLASH) runs during the summer months and over school vacations in order to ensure that students who receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch at school do not miss those meals when they are home. Eligible families living in Westerly, Hopkinton, Charlestown or Richmond are encouraged to sign up through the Jonnycake Center Social Services Department.  Groceries are available for pick-up the week prior to vacations, or weekly during the summer.


Thanksgiving Dinner Basket

Current clients can sign up for a Thanksgiving meal basket which includes a turkey and all the trimmings for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. The baskets are distributed on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.


Christmas Dinner Basket

Current clients can sign up for a Christmas meal basket which includes a turkey and all the trimmings for a traditional Christmas dinner.  Distribution of the meal baskets begins in mid-December.