For many Americans, Independence Day this year seems bleak, and the American dream nearly unattainable, but for 27 underprivileged families, this Fourth of July looks a little brighter. The Warwick Knights of Columbus Council #2295 donated food baskets to Rhode Island families this past Sunday. Mark Paul, newly elected Grand Knight for the Warwick Council #2295, and his fellow knights gave out Fourth of July themed food baskets containing hotdogs, hamburgers, buns, chips, potatoes and mayonnaise (for making potato salad), and other “building blocks of a cookout,” said Paul.
There are few, if any, organizations that offer food donations during the summer, especially for the Fourth of July. When asked why he decided to donate now, Paul said besides a “patriotic gesture,” it had come to his knowledge while talking to his parish priest that there is “an increase in numbers at food pantries in the summertime,” and he felt help should be given.
Paul explained that during the school year, children from families in need receive “two meals a day at school,” meals that their families must now provide for them during the summer months. The knights supply similar baskets at other points during the year such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, but Paul and his fellow knights felt as though the need for donations in the summer months warrant a substantial contribution.
The Knights of Columbus held raffles and fundraisers to help outfit the food baskets.
West Bay Community Action referred the recipients, all families, to the K of C.
Lea Spinelli, intake case manager at West Bay, said families who were chosen to receive the donations were screened by “their needs and income” so families most in need received the most support.
Spinelli also said that West Bay coordinates with case managers who work with the individual families to make sure “emergency food families” and “those with children in the households” are considered first.
West Bay helped the K of C target families most in need, but also to “try not to repeat families,” said Spinelli. They try to spread as many donations as they can to the hardest hit families.
Paul said the event went “very well” and that they were able to get in touch with all but a few of the families who either picked up their baskets or had them delivered to their homes.
Paul hopes to hold fundraisers and hand out more donations later in the summer season.