February 19, 2020

Grants Mean More Meals for Hungry EP Residents

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Sparked by a recent report that thousands of people are skipping meals due to lack of food, Rhode Island Foundation awards $180,000 in unplanned end-of-the-year grants

The holiday season just got a lot brighter for people who rely on local food pantries thanks to grants from the Rhode Island Foundation. Sparked by a new study reporting that thousands of Rhode Islanders are going hungry every day, the Foundation is announcing special grants supply local food pantries.

"While we continue to pursue long-term solutions to poverty, we also support these organizations in providing immediate and critical assistance to struggling Rhode Islanders," said Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO. According to the R.I. Community Food Bank’s 2019 Report on Hunger, Rhode Islanders in need missed over 11 million meals this year.

The East Bay Community Action Program (EBCAP) in East Providence was awarded $15,000 to support the operations of its community food banks, which assist more than 5,000 households annually.

“This support comes at a critical time for our busy food banks. They are often the first place that new clients come to our agency for services. We will be able to assist families with nutritious food and work with them to determine if they are eligible for additional program supports such as food stamps or heating assistance,” said Dennis Roy, EBCAP’s president and CEO.

Another $50,000 went to the R.I. Community Food Bank, which will use the funding to make 150,000 pounds of food -- enough to provide an additional 185,000 meals – available to area food pantries like the Good Neighbors Meal Site and the Good Neighbors Pantry in Riverside and the Bread of Life Food Pantry in Rumford.

“The economy is strong, with low unemployment, but there are still thousands of Rhode Islanders who cannot afford three healthy meals a day. Demand for food assistance remains high at our member agencies as families struggle to afford basic household expenses,” said Andrew Schiff, CEO of the Food Bank.

The funding is among $180,000 in emergency grants to seven social service agencies that provide food to low-income households. Also receiving grants from the Foundation are the Comprehensive Community Action Program in Cranston, Connecting for Children and Families in Woonsocket, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Newport, the Jonnycake Center for Hope in South Kingstown and the Jonnycake Center of Westerly.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $114 million and awarded $52 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities in 2018. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit rifoundation.org.

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