Advocate for Change

In the Food Bank’s 2023 Status Report on Hunger in Rhode Island, we reported that a record number of Rhode Islanders are seeking food assistance. Please help us ask our legislators to rally around our neighbors in need and pass measures that would ease food insecurity in our state. Here’s how you can help.

You Made Your Voice Heard!

Tuesday, January 30, 2024: Rhode Island Food Insecurity Awareness Day

The Food Bank and our supporters were at the State House to shine a spotlight on the problem of hunger and the steps our State’s leadership can take to help address it. We were thrilled to see a full house there to support our work.

Did You Know…

Did you know…

  • Nearly 1 in 3 Rhode Island families can’t afford adequate food.
  • Food insecurity is higher for families with children (38%).
  • Food prices in RI went up by 11% from summer 2022 to summer 2023.
  • The Food Bank’s 143 member agencies are serving a record 80,000 per month.

2024 Legislative Solutions

The following legislation will have the most impact on the problem of hunger in Rhode Island.

Increase the state budget allocation for the Food Bank in FY25 from $550,000 to $1 million in response to the high need for food assistance.

Make school lunch and breakfast free for all students beginning in September 2024.

Extend funding for the Eat Well, Be Well program to incentivize fruit and vegetable purchases with SNAP benefits.

Increasing funding for the Food Bank allows us to purchase more healthy staples, fresh produce and culturally relevant foods to meet the increased demand.

 You Can Say: “My name is [name] and I live in [town.] In response to the high need for food assistance in our state, I’d like to urge you to support an increase in state funding for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, from $550,000 to $1 million in the 2024 budget.”

According to the Food Bank’s annual Food Cost Study, conducted each July, food inflation persisted last year. The cost of a weekly shopping trip increased by 11%. Over the past two years, the cost of food purchased at a local supermarket grew by 26%. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is an important benefit to the 88,000 Rhode Island households currently enrolled. In March of 2023, Congress ended the pandemic-era emergency SNAP allotment that many families relied on. Now they’re reporting that with the high cost of groceries, their monthly SNAP benefit lasts less than two weeks – leaving them to rely on emergency food assistance for the rest of the month.

 

 You can say: “My name is [name] and I live in [town.] The inflated cost of food is taking a toll on low-income Rhode Islanders. I urge you to support an increase to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit to help our neighbors purchase more fresh, nutritious food to feed their families.”

During the pandemic, Congress allowed schools to provide breakfast and lunch meals to all students at no charge. When the federal authorization for this program ended in June 2022, schools in Rhode Island returned to a tiered fee system (free, reduced-price, full-price), charging parents for school meals based on their household income. Once school breakfasts and lunches were no longer free, participation in school meals dropped, with many families losing access to an important source of nutrition for their children. During last year’s legislative session, a bill to make Healthy School Meals for All was proposed to make free school breakfasts and lunches permanently available, but ultimately did not pass. This year, new legislation will be introduced.

 

You can say: “My name is [name] and I live in [town.] I’d like to urge you to support Healthy School Meals for All legislation to make school breakfast and lunch free for all students, regardless of ability to pay, starting in the 2024/2025 school year.”

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), passed by Congress in 2021, expanded the Child Tax Credit to parents with low or no income at an increased value of $3,000 for each child age 6 to 17, and $3,600 for each child age 5 or younger. Once enacted, the expanded Child Tax Credit significantly reduced child poverty, with the greatest gains realized by Black and Latino families. Unfortunately, the expanded Child Tax Credit ended in 2022 and has not been renewed by Congress. Reinstating this credit would significantly reduce food insecurity for families with children.

 

You can say: “My name is [name] and I live in [town.] Please support the reinstatement of the expanded Child Tax Credit to ensure Rhode Island families with children receive the nutrition they need.

Other Ways to Get Involved

Donate Food

Learn how you can start a food drive to benefit the Food Bank. See a list of needed food and download posters and materials.

Start a Drive

Host a Virtual Fundraiser

Set up an online fundraiser to raise money with your friends, family, or colleagues.

Learn More

Volunteer

We welcome small groups for select weekday shifts. Learn more and find out how to sign up.

Volunteer Opportunities