The Rhode Island
Community Food Bank’s 2018
Status Report on Hunger in Rhode Island found that hunger is more prevalent in Rhode Island than it
was 10 years ago, with food insecurity affecting one in eight Rhode Islanders.
In Rhode Island, the cost of basic household expenses – including rent, fuel
and food – has outpaced wage growth. For example, in a study of supermarket
prices in Rhode Island, food costs grew by 15 percent over the last two years,
while worker’s wages only increased five percent in the same time period.
Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) has been partnering with the Rhode Island Community
Food Bank for more than 20 years
to help address the ongoing struggles with food insecurity in the state –
through food drives, volunteerism, charitable grants and more. The mission of
the Food Bank is to improve the quality of life for all Rhode Islanders by
advancing solutions to the problem of hunger through compassion, fostering
health, innovation, collaboration and accountability. With a statewide network
of partners and member agencies, they are at the epicenter of alleviating food
insecurity within the state.
associates collected more than 6,200 food items – weighing more than 3,600
pounds – during the company’s Summer Snackdown initiative to help kick start
the Rhode Island Community Food Bank’s 2019 Summer Food Drive. These food
donations were additionally matched with a $10,000 charitable contribution from
BCBSRI also in support of the campaign. The donation will be used to purchase
and distribute food this summer – a time that can be particularly tough for families
with children on summer break who no longer have access to free and
reduced-priced breakfasts and lunches at school.
with and supports several local organizations working to address food
McAuley House – For 10 years and counting, BCBSRI
has partnered with McAuley
House to sponsor “Lunch
on Us at McAuley House”.
Each year, BCBSRI’s support covers the cost of more than 5,000 nutritious
breakfast, lunch and takeaway dinner meals, ensuring the most vulnerable women,
children and men in the Rhode Island community have access to nourishing food.
Rhode Island Public Health Institute – Rhode Island Public Health Institute’s “Rhody Food on the Move” mobile
food market addresses the lack of access to affordable, healthy food in
underserved neighborhoods throughout the state, while helping to meet a growing
demand for local food and a sustainable local food system. A BlueAngel Community
Health Grant from BCBSRI helped
expand the markets to focus on locations reaching families such as schools and
family housing sites and helped fund evening markets to reach working parents.
Farm Fresh Rhode Island – Farm Fresh Rhode
Island has a mission to
grow a local food system that values the environment, health and quality of
life of the farmers and eaters in our region, and BCBSRI has been a proud partner
since the organization launched in 2004. BCBSRI awarded Farm Fresh Rhode Island
a BlueAngel Community Health Grant for its Healthy Foods, Healthy
Families program, which provides free nutrition education to low-income
families and incentives for families receiving nutrition assistance vouchers
that can be redeemed for fresh, local produce.
As an organization that
is passionate about leading a state of health and well-being across Rhode
Island, BCBSRI believes that good nutrition and access to healthy foods is core
to that vision. We are committed to supporting programs that are helping to alleviate
food insecurity in our state and are grateful to the many partners whose work
is so passionately focused on that same goal.