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SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. – The Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale will get $150,000 from the Centreville Bank Charitable Foundation for major renovations of a recently-purchased, 120-year-old schoolhouse.

Harold M. Horvat, Centreville Bank president, CEO and chairman, made the announcement of the grant Dec. 9.

The Centreville Bank Charitable Foundation grant will be used to help renovate the schoolhouse, which is located at 22 Kersey Road in Peace Dale. It was recently purchased to house the Jonnycake Center’s food pantry, social service department and administrative offices, as well as to provide community space for workshops, special programs and wellness initiatives.

“We are so grateful to Centreville Bank for this outstanding grant,” Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale Executive Director Kate Brewster said. “This investment will make us more effective and efficient in helping approximately 2,000 South County residents meet their most basic needs. Though our organization is best known for its food pantry, the Jonnycake Center also provides such services as emergency financial assistance, volunteer income tax assistance and a motivational coaching program.”

As part of the project the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale will also transition to a new name – the Jonnycake Center for Hope.  

“Centreville Bank prides itself on supporting the local Rhode Island community by partnering with organizations that help serve our state’s less fortunate,” Horvat said. “We are very happy to be in the financial position to support the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale as they strive to fight hunger, provide critical social services, and offer those in need improved accessibility, and ultimately, a greater sense of hope.”

Brewster said the new space will provide visitors with an enhanced and dignified experience.

“The ‘Jonnycake Market’ will recreate a true grocery store experience,” she said. “Social service staff will be co-located with the market, allowing for regular interactions and timely assistance with visitors, including those with disabilities who currently cannot climb our stairs.”

Brewster said cooking classes, wellness initiatives, community meetings and tax assistance will be provided in a more appropriate setting, and that the renovated facility will offer community partners space for other needs that may arise in the community.

The Jonnycake Center launched a capital campaign in the fall to finance the project. Its annual Breaking the Waves of Hunger fundraiser generated almost $100,000 in revenue through ticket sales, a silent and live auction and “live food drive” in which attendees pledge a donation.

The center also received a $250,000 Champlin Foundation grant toward the renovations in November.

The Centreville Bank Charitable Foundation was established as a nonprofit, charitable organization in 2006 by the board of trustees to further the philanthropic mission of the bank.

Founded in 1828 and headquartered in West Warwick, Centreville Bank has seven branch locations in Coventry, Cranston, East Greenwich, Narragansett, North Kingstown, West Greenwich and West Warwick, and assets of $1.2 billion.

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