Status Report on Hunger

Food insecurity is now three times more prevalent than before the pandemic.

Each year, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank releases its Status Report on Hunger, calling attention to the issues around hunger in the state of Rhode Island.

Download the 2022 Status Report on Hunger in Rhode Island

Major Findings

  • Soaring food prices burden families still recovering from the effects of COVID-19.
  • Nearly one in three Rhode Island households can’t afford adequate food.
  • The risk of hunger is highest for low-income families with children and for communities of color.
  • Demand for food assistance is increasing as critical COVID-19 relief programs and emergency benefits end.

Food Inflation Adds to Food Insecurity

The state’s economy rebounded this year with lower unemployment and higher wages for many workers. But household budgets were stretched thin by rapid inflation in rent, fuel, and food. From July 2021 to July 2022, food costs in Rhode Island went up 13 percent. At the national level, the Consumer Price Index for food at home similarly grew by 13.1 percent, the largest twelve-month increase in 40 years. Rising prices make it harder for low-income and even moderate-income families to purchase all the food that they need.

Download the 2022 Food Cost Study

High prices mean less food on the table for thousands of Rhode Island families. According to findings from the latest RI Life Index, conducted between April and June 2022, 31 percent of households were food insecure and unable to afford adequate food.

The RI Life Index surveys a random sample of more than 2,000 households in the state. It is an initiative of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island and the Brown University School of Public Health.

Disparities Persist

Results from the RI Life Index show that people of color are much more likely to be food insecure than White people. These racial and ethnic disparities reflect the recent toll of COVID-19 on the health and economic well-being of communities of color, as well as long-standing barriers to economic opportunity in Rhode Island.

Learn how you can advocate for change.