Tilted barn

Jessica DeMartino and Megan Cotter pose for a photo at the event.

On February 13th the Tilted Barn Brewery in Exeter hosted “Show Some Love”, an event where residents were invited to meet state representative Megan Cotter and also donate needed items to Exeter Social Services. The focus of donations was on personal care items including laundry detergent, diapers, and feminine care products. The event began at 6pm and to gain entry visitors needed to bring 1 item; however many people could be seen carrying in bags and boxes of products to serve their community. The items collected were to be split between the Exeter Social Services Department and RICAN. The estimated total of donated products was close to 1000 items.

Starting promptly at 6pm a line of cars pulled into the parking lot, carrying donations and residents excited to meet their town representative as well as the social services director, Jessica DeMartino. People continued filing in as the night went on, providing business to the local brewery and enjoying the company of their community. Megan Cotter happily met with those she represents, making rounds through the crowds introducing herself.

Jessica DeMartino has been working to plan events and fundraisers for Exeter in order to better serve the community. Despite this, she worries that many people are not aware of the availability of help they could receive. For this event, she partnered with Cotter stating, “With the rising cost of groceries and supplemental SNAP benefits being cut this month, families are struggling more than ever to afford the basic necessities. Representative Cotter is always checking on the needs of the Exeter community-personal care items – soap, shampoo, diapers, toothpaste and feminine hygiene products are always a need for seniors who are living on a fixed income and families who might find themselves struggling right now. Items collected for the Exeter Department of Social Services will go directly to residents in need or be donated to our food bank located at Exeter Chapel. Appointments for the food bank may be made by calling (401) 294-3176.” Appointments for the Exeter Food Bank can be made for Fridays; residents can also pick up nonperishable foods here.

In regards to the event held on Monday, Cotter said “I wanted to engage with constituents and to double the efforts by generating some really useful donations for good local causes. In volunteering at RICAN and Exeter Social Services, it became clear to me that personal Care items are in high demand. These items are very costly and are not covered by SNAP.” She went on to describe how she was personally impacted by the kindness of donations after experiencing a house fire where she lost most of her belongings. A simple donation of a hairbrush “helped [her] keep [her] composure.”

The Exeter Social Services Department accepts donations year round from individuals, businesses, schools, and organizations. If you would like to donate to those in need in Exeter you can drop off donations at the Exeter Town Hall or mail them to Exeter Social Services, 675 Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI 02822.

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