Our Blog RSS

The latest news and occasional commentary about what’s happening at the Foundation and around our great state. 

Rhode Island Foundation Blog


We are proud to be part of the Rhode Island community! Follow our blog for the latest news and occasional commentary about what’s happening at the Foundation and around our great state.

Addressing alarming increase in hunger
By Chris Barnett / December 26, 2017 /   Loading Disqus...

Sparked by a recent report that hunger is at a 10-year high in Rhode Island and the state has the highest poverty rate in New England, the Rhode Island Foundation today announced a $100,000 donation to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and challenged  Rhode Islanders to pitch in during this time of extraordinary need.

"The purpose of this grant is not only to address the alarming increase in hunger in our state, but it's also hopefully to provide leadership and to inspire Rhode Islanders to support the charities of their choice as well as to help those in need going into the winter months," said Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO.

The announcement comes as proposed federal cuts to safety net programs threaten to overwhelm the state’s straining food pantries, which are already near capacity. According to the Food Bank’s 2017 Report on Hunger, hunger in Rhode Island is at its highest rate in 10 years.

“At the Food Bank, we’re already serving 57,000 Rhode Islanders each month through our network of member agencies,” said Andrew Schiff, the Food Bank’s CEO. “Cuts to safety net programs like SNAP and WIC will increase the number of people seeking food assistance and we will need to find additional support to serve them. In addition, many of our clients have already been without benefits for months due to the troubled launch of the state’s UHIP system.”

The donation is among the largest the organization has received this year, according to Food Bank officials. The money will pay for more than 300,000 pounds of food-- enough to provide an additional 372,000 meals over and above its normal activity.

“We’re so grateful for this generous gift from the Foundation,” said Schiff. “In addition to helping us purchase food, we hope it sparks more Rhode Islanders to take action and provide assistance to our neighbors in need.”

The Food Bank will work with soup kitchens, senior centers and food pantries in more than a dozen cities and towns to get the food into the hands of Rhode Islanders. The Community Action Partnership of Providence and the Emanuel Lutheran Church in West Warwick are among the agencies that will benefit from the Foundation’s grant.

“Many of the clients we see have nowhere else to turn,” said Lihna Agostini of CAPP. “They either don’t qualify for assistance or they’re not receiving it due to the problems with UHIP so they come to our pantry to put food on their shelves. And there are times when our shelves are practically bare because we have so many people to serve.”

The grant will enable the Food Bank to purchase staples such as baked beans, rice, tomato soup, canned carrots, corn and peas; and fresh produce to distribute to its member agencies.

“Our food pantry reaches as many people as we can with the resources we have available,” said Myron Gadoury of the Emanuel Lutheran Church. “But we need more assistance and this support from the Rhode Island Foundation will truly help us reach those who need it most.”



blog comments powered by Disqus

Featured Post

  • Rhode Island Foundation announces six recipients of college scholarships in the name of Roger Williams Posted last month
    The four-year, renewable scholarships are through the Carter Roger Williams Initiative, which was launched two years ago by philanthropists Letitia and late John Carter.
  • Rhode Island Foundation awards $285,000 to Newport County nonprofits Posted last month
    The grants, through our Newport County Fund, will underwrite a host of activities ranging from workforce training and after-school activities to preventing relationship violence and protecting vulnerable seniors.
  • $2.6 million awarded for behavioral health care Posted last month
    Six nonprofit organizations will use $2.6 million in grants to support primary and secondary prevention models and high-quality, affordable behavioral health care services across the state. The funding is the first from the Behavioral Health Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.
  • Vision and commitment Posted last month
    Hundreds of community and business leaders, donors, grant recipients, and other partners gathered at the Rhode Island Convention Center on May 16 for our 2019 Annual Meeting. Here are highlights of what our President and CEO Neil D. Steinberg told them.
  • Rose Fund grants stimulate civic and cultural dialogue Posted 2 months ago
    The primary goals are to strengthen libraries and other civic, cultural and literacy-focused organizations and expand their role as community centers that stimulate dialogue around critical issues.
Read More »


LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

E-News Sign Up