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Thousands of Families Left Behind in Recovery

The economic recovery taking root in Rhode Island has not reached thousands of low-income families who rely on food programs to avoid hunger. One in seven Rhode Island households cannot afford adequate food. Hunger continues at levels virtually unchanged from the all-time high experienced during the recession. The rate of food insecurity in Rhode Island is now 14.4 percent, down from 14.7 percent.

Read how this challenge is affecting everyday Rhode Islanders in this article by Paul Davis of The Providence Journal.

2014 Status Report on Hunger

Every year, the Food Bank releases a Status Report on Hunger, detailing the scope of the challenges facing our community today. Read the 2014 Status Report on Hunger.

Families Make Difficult Choices

The recent Hunger in America study by Feeding America, the national network of food banks, found that most people receiving food assistance from the Rhode Island Community Food Bank's network of agencies are living at or below the federal poverty level.

Clients of food pantries are forced to make unthinkable choices between paying for food and paying for other essentials, like utilities, medicine, transportation or housing. Read more about the trade-offs made by our clients.

The Food Bank now serves 63,000 people per month through its statewide network of food pantries. In 2007, the same number of agencies served 33,000 people per month. One in three served is a child under the age of 18, and one in five is a senior age 60 years or older.

Food Bank Focuses on Fresh, Healthy Food

The Food Bank distributes nearly 10 million pounds of food per year, including more than 2 million pounds of fresh produce, to its 169 member agencies. Currently, 89 percent of the food distributed is highly nutritious "core" food that can be used to make a healthy meal for a family.

The continued high demand for food assistance makes it challenging for the Food Bank to acquire enough healthy food to stock food pantries across the state. The quantity of donated food has dropped in recent years due in large part to improved inventory and quality control in the food industry, which results in less surplus food available for donation. To fill this gap, the Food Bank must now purchase more than 3 million pounds of food per year. 

Access to Nutrition Programs is Critical

Federal nutrition programs are an essential resource for low-income families struggling to keep food on the table. Find out how you can advocate for improved access to nutrition programs.

For your convenience, below are email addresses for Rhode Island’s Congressional Delegates and a link to email addresses for members of the General Assembly.

Click here to email your Rhode Island Senators.

Click here to email your Rhode Island Representatives.

If you wish to share your opinions with the Governor or our U.S. Senators and Representatives, their contact information is below. 

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee
Office of the Governor
82 Smith Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02903-1196
Governor's email: governor@governor.ri.gov
Governor's telephone: 401-222-2080 

Senator Jack Reed
Rhode Island Office Address:

100 Chapel View Boulevard, Suite 290
Cranston, Rhode Island, 02920-5602
Washington, DC Office Address:
728 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Sen. Reed's email: visit http://www.reed.senate.gov/help/contacting-jack
Sen. Reed's telephone: 401-943-3100

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Rhode Island Office Address:
170 Westminster Street, Suite 1100
Providence, Rhode Island 02903
Washington, DC Office Address:
717 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Sen. Whitehouse's email: visit http://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/contact/
Sen. Whitehouse's telephone: 401-453-5294

Representative David Cicilline
Rhode Island Office Address:
1070 Main Street, Suite 300
Pawtucket, Rhode Island 02860
Washington, DC Office Address:
128 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515Rep. Cicilline's email: visit https://cicilline.house.gov/contact-me/email-me Rep. Cicilline's telephone: 401-225-4911

Representative James Langevin
Rhode Island Office:
300 Centerville Road, Suite 200 South
Warwick, Rhode Island 02886
Washington, DC Office:
109 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Rep. Langevin's email: visit http://langevin.house.gov/contact-me/email-me
Rep. Langevin's telephone: 401-739-9400