With kids out of school over concerns for controlling spread of the coronavirus and as a result, many parents unable to work, a few local businesses have stepped up to relieve the financial stress on local families.

Coffee & Cream in North Smithfield is offering breakfast to any student who may need it.

“We will give you a free pancake or scrambled eggs and toast to go,” noted the business at 900 Victory Highway on a social media post following the announcement from Gov. Gina Raimondo that all Rhode Island schools will be closed next week.

Goodstuff Smokehouse in nearby Blackstone, Mass. has also offered to help feed local students who normally eat meals at their school.

“Many families rely on school lunch programs to provide a necessary hot lunch,” the business noted. “With school being postponed Goodstuff Smokehouse is doing something about that. Any student that comes in during weekday lunchtime (parents or not) will be given a free kids meal to go. No questions asked. We will continue to do this until area schools are back to normal.”

Johnny’s Victory Diner in Nasonville also announced a plan to help.

“In light of recent events centered around the COVID-19 virus and school closings, we want to make sure that the children of our community don’t go hungry during this trying time,” the business noted. “While RI schools are closed this week, please come in with your child (age 13 and under) and we will gladly feed them a pancake or scrambled eggs.”

National Grid has also stepped up, temporarily suspending collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardship the COVID-19 pandemic may have on customers.

“The decision is part of the company’s pandemic preparedness plan, which is designed to mitigate the impact the virus has on our customers, our workforce and our ability to deliver safe, reliable electricity and natural gas to our customers,” the business said in a statement.

“We recognize that this pandemic has brought many challenges for our customers and we want to do our part to lessen any financial impact they may face as the result of the outbreak,” said Badar Khan, National Grid’s Interim U.S. President. “We are committed to our customers’ well-being during this difficult time.”

The company’s decision to temporarily suspend service terminations and collections-related activities is effective immediately.

If you know of other businesses offering food or help for local families, email the information to sandy@nrinow.news for inclusion here. 

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