R.I. Foundation gives $100,000 to stock food pantries

R.I. Foundation gives $100,000 to stock food pantries

PAWTUCKET – Food pantries like Blackstone Valley Emergency Food Center, First Baptist Church, Covenant Congregational Church in Pawtucket will benefit from a $100,000 grant to Food Bank from the Rhode Island Foundation.

Sparked by a recent report about rapidly rising food prices, the Foundation made the special donation to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and challenged Rhode Islanders to pitch in during this time of need.

“Our goal is not just to address the alarming increase in hunger in our state, but to hopefully to provide leadership and to inspire Rhode Islanders to assist their favorite charities as well as to help people in need as we enter the winter months,” Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO, said.

The Food Bank will use the grant to make another 300,000 pounds of food, enough to provide an additional 370,000 meals, available to a dozen member agencies in Pawtucket like the Blackstone Valley Emergency Food Center, First Baptist Church, Covenant Congregational Church and St. Matthew Trinity Lutheran.

The grant will enable the Food Bank to purchase staples such as baked beans, rice, tomato soup, fresh produce and canned carrots, corn and peas. The organization will work with local soup kitchens, senior centers and food pantries to get the food into the hands of hungry residents.

“With this gift, we’ll be able to deliver more food to our member agencies so that they can provide assistance to working families who are struggling to make ends meet,” Andrew Schiff, the Food Bank’s CEO, said.

The announcement comes as proposed federal cuts to safety net programs threaten to overwhelm the state’s food pantries, which are already near capacity. According to the Food Bank’s 2018 Report on Hunger, food prices have grown three times faster than wages since 2015.

“We are so thankful to the Rhode Island Foundation for once again stepping up to address food insecurity,” said Schiff.

The Food Bank distributes food to 53,000 struggling Rhode Islanders each month through a statewide network of 158 member agencies including food pantries, meal sites, shelters, youth programs and senior centers.

For more information, visit rifoundation.org.