NEWS RELEASE – May 5, 2014
Rhode Island Community Food Bank
Partnership between the Citizens Bank Foundation, Cox Communications and the Paw Sox benefits the Rhode Island Community Food Bank
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – After a long, cold winter, the chance to watch PawSox baseball is sure to warm the hearts of sports fans across Rhode Island. It will also help to fill the cupboards of families struggling to feed their families. Thanks to a unique partnership between the Citizens Bank Foundation, the PawSox and Cox Communications, every PawSox strike-out will put $75 toward food for hungry families, up to a total contribution of $75,000.
The annual campaign, known as Striking Out Hunger, enters its 8th season in 2014. Striking Out Hunger has raised a half-million dollars for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank since its opening season.
“We’re immensely grateful for these loyal partners, who realize that the need for food assistance in Rhode Island continues at record high levels,” says Andrew Schiff, Chief Executive Officer of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. “This partnership is a perfect example of how organizations can work together for the common good. The Citizens Bank Foundation provides the donations, Cox Communications provides the public service campaign, and the PawSox provide great baseball. Together, we make a real difference in the lives of kids and families who rely on the Food Bank for help.”
The need for food assistance during the summer can be especially challenging for families who rely on school meals to feed their children during the school year.
“During the summer months, children who typically participate in free or subsidized school breakfast and lunch programs no longer have this nutritional safety net to rely upon,” said Barbara Cottam, EVP, Head of Corporate Affairs and RI Market Executive, RBS Citizens. “Through the bank’s ‘Striking Out Hunger’ partnership with the PawSox and Cox Communications, we are able to raise awareness and provide critical funding during the summer to the RI Community Food Bank to meet this increased need for food.”
The Food Bank’s statewide network of food pantries currently serves more than 68,000 Rhode Islanders every month. One in three served is a child under the age of 18. Increasingly, senior citizens on fixed incomes also rely on food pantries and community meal sites.
“We have a lot of confidence in our talented pitchers,” said Lou Schwechheimer, Vice President & General Manager of the Pawtucket Red Sox. “They don’t just help us win ballgames – they also help so many of our neighbors in need. We’re pleased that we can make a real difference to the people who live and work in our state.”
Last year, the Food Bank distributed 9.9 million pounds of food to its 223 member agencies, including food pantries, community meal sites, after-school recreation centers and programs for senior citizens. In addition, the Food Bank provides culinary job training to unemployed and low-skilled adults through its Community Kitchen program. Community Kitchen students gain valuable job skills while simultaneously preparing up to 500 meals per day for the Food Bank’s Kids Cafe program, which provides after-school meals to children in high-need areas. The Food Bank also provides nutrition education to clients of food pantries through its program, “Community Cooking: Wholesome Eating on a Budget.”
“We are proud to partner with businesses that share the same commitment and dedication to our local community,” said John Wolfe, senior vice president and general manager, Cox Communications. “The Striking Out Hunger partnership allows us to raise awareness while helping to end hunger in our state.”
Currently, 20% of Rhode Island children live in poverty, with 9% living in extreme poverty. Approximately 50,000 Rhode Island children receive free or reduced-priced lunch in school. When school lets out, these children are particularly vulnerable to hunger.
For more information about the Striking Out Hunger campaign, visit www.rifoodbank.org/strikeout.
About The Rhode Island Community Food Bank
The Rhode Island Community Food Bank is a non-profit organization located in Providence, RI. The Food Bank solicits, stores and distributes food products donated by supermarkets, wholesalers, food processors, local farmers and community food drives. The food is then distributed to the Food Bank’s statewide network of 223 member agency programs. In the past fiscal year, the Food Bank distributed 9.9 million pounds of food. For more information about the Food Bank, please visit www.rifoodbank.org.
About the Citizens Charitable Foundation:
Citizens Charitable Foundation is a charitable contributions vehicle of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc., RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. The foundation’s support is focused on human services, affordable housing and economic development. RBSCFG’s website is citizensbank.com.
About Cox Communications:
Cox Communications is a broadband communications and entertainment company, providing advanced digital video, Internet and telephone services over its own nationwide IP network. The third-largest U.S. cable TV company, Cox serves approximately 6 million residences and businesses. Cox Business is a facilities-based provider of voice, video and data solutions for commercial customers, and Cox Media is a full-service provider of national and local cable spot and new media advertising.
Cox is known for its pioneering efforts in cable telephone and commercial services, industry-leading customer care and its outstanding workplaces. For seven years, Cox has been recognized as the top operator for women by Women in Cable Telecommunications; for six years, Cox has ranked among DiversityInc’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity. More information about Cox Communications, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, is available at www.cox.com and www.coxmedia.com.
About the PawSox:
The PawSox, the Triple-A Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, play April-September at McCoy Stadium. For more than 35 years, the PawSox have provided the best in family entertainment at family friendly prices. For information on PawSox home game schedules, special events, and tickets, visit www.pawsox.com.