Rep. Teresa Tanzi has acquired a $1,000 legislative grant for the Johnnycake Center of Peace Dale, which serves the needy of South Kingstown and Narragansett with food, clothing and household items.
The grant will be used to purchase food, said Johnnycake Center director Susan Gustaitis, who said that demand for the center’s services has increased significantly in the last few years as the economy has worsened. The nonprofit Johnnycake Center of Peace Dale, founded in 1973, provides clients with monthly nutritionally balanced food baskets that contain enough food, including milk, eggs and frozen meats, to prepare three meals a day for an entire week for all household members. It also offers holiday meal baskets and breakfast and lunch during school vacations and summer for the children of clients who qualify for free and reduced-price school lunches. The center also operates a thrift store that generates funding for the pantry and is a source of free clothing and household goods for clients.
“The Johnnycake Center is an incredibly important resource for so many families in our community, and the need now is greater than ever. It provides not just food but the kind of fresh, healthy food that is, unfortunately, out of reach for many families and is often hard to get at other pantries. I’m glad to help this vital organization in any way that I can,” said Representative Tanzi, a Democrat who represents District 34 in South Kingstown and Narragansett.
Gustaitis said the center is very grateful to Representative Tanzi, who also volunteers at the Johnnycake Center, distributing holiday baskets and arranging and picking up produce donations from local farms.
“We really appreciate having someone like her representing us and also coming in and taking the time to be hands-on, seeing how it is here,” said Gustaitis.