WESTERLY — A weekend collection and a few additional donations over the past few days helped officers collect an estimated 4,900 pounds of food for the Jonnycake Center, officials said Tuesday.

Officers with the Westerly Police Department and volunteers with the Westerly Fire Department, Westerly Ambulance and Dunn's Corners Fire Department, in partnership with McQuade's Marketplace and the Westerly Walmart, conducted a four hour collection at each store Saturday. All items collected were donated to Jonnycake Center of Westerly to help replenish the food bank and provide holiday meals.

The Jonnycake Center of Westerly also announced Tuesday that it had received a grant of $7,500 from the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation. Matt Levy, social media and marketing manager, said the money will be used to combat food insecurity in southern Rhode Island during the COVID-19 crisis.

Under COVID-19 public health guidelines, the center scaled back public event fundraising initiatives and reduced Thrift Store’s hours, impeding the organization’s potential to raise money, Levy said. The $7,500 donation will allow the pantry to purchase up to 75,000 pounds of meals and ingredients from the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and other community partners.

— Jason Vallee

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