Empowerment Center FAQ & How-To Guide

Where does all your food come from?

All products available are donated to us by our corporate product donors. This means that some of the products may not be in perfect condition, but we would never offer anything that is open, recalled, or unsafe to consume.

Who is allowed to visit the Empowerment Center?

We are open to the public. No identification necessary.

Where can i find a list of prices online?

As we receive donations, our Facebook page is updated to let the public know what we will be offering that week. Donation amounts for each item are determined by the We Share Hope team of staff and volunteers just minutes before we open each night. This is why we are not able to provide a definite answer to individuals on our Facebook page who are interested in knowing a certain product’s donation amount. The Empowerment Center’s products range from 5%-30% of their retail value.

We Share Hope often receives donated goods just hours before we offer them at the Empowerment Center. This means that our stock changes weekly, and we can not anticipate what we will have each week. To see our full stock and the prices for each item, please visit the Empowerment Center during our hours of operation. Our hours can be found here.

What does we share hope do with the money?

Our mission is to rescue food and donate it to those who need it the most in order to end hunger in New England. All of the money collected at the Empowerment Center is used to receive, store, distribute and transport our goods from our East Providence, RI warehouse to our 75+ charity non-profit across the state. Through shopping with We Share Hope, you are helping yourself while also paying it forward to others who need the help.

Why is there a limit on certain items?

For certain items, there is a limit to how many you can bring home. This rule is in place because we want to give all individuals an opportunity to take the items that we may not have an excess of. Our mission is to share what we have been given, and we appreciate you sharing what we offer you with your community.

Why don’t you offer plastic bags to your shoppers anymore?

Just like the food and hygiene products we offer at the Empowerment Center, plastic bags are donated to us by our product donors. Some days we may have them and other days we may not. We urge all shoppers to prepare in advance by bringing their own reusable bags to the Empowerment Center.

Why is some of the food you offer expired?

Some of the food We Share Hope receives is donated to us because it is near its “best before” date. Under the Bill Emerson Act, We Share Hope and other food insecurity-based non-profits are able to offer these types of food products to the public. It is your decision whether or not you’d like to pick up these items the next time you’re at the Empowerment Center.

The Greater Boston Food Bank has created these reference guides to help consumers know how long certain foods remains safe to eat. Sheet 1 Sheet 2


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