Although unable to hold its traditional late summer food drive in its 20 branches statewide, Bank Rhode Island (BankRI) is helping ensure their food pantry partners have resources to meet the increased need brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. In
Although unable to hold its traditional late summer food drive in its 20 branches statewide, Bank Rhode Island (BankRI) is helping ensure their food pantry partners have resources to meet the increased need brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. In support of food acquisition, the bank has provided a total of $7,500 to 15 pantries across the state.
Among those to receive funding are Comprehensive Community Action in Cranston, and Warwick’s Westbay Community Action. Both organizations have experienced tremendous increase in demand for services since the health crisis began.
“The reality is, more and more people are in need of food during these pressing times – some who never had to worry about putting food on their tables prior to the pandemic,” said Paul Salera, president and CEO of Westbay.
Added Lee Beliveau of CCAP, “We’re seeing an unprecedented number of our neighbors struggling during these challenging times. Anything our community can do to help us fill our shelves is greatly appreciated.”
The charitable dollars are BankRI’s second wave of funding to combat hunger since the pandemic began, following a $10,000 grant to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. As part of its latest funding, BankRI is encouraging members of the community to help support their local pantry if they’re able. A list of the bank’s food pantry partners and their information can be found here.
According to a recent report by the Food Bank, the number of people seeking help through emergency food programs has increased by almost 30 percent since March. That equates to 67,000 people served monthly – a figure that nearly matches the number of people receiving assistance at the height of the recession.
“There is not a community in our state where our neighbors have not been impacted by what’s going on in the world right now – too many people are worried about how they’ll feed their families,” said Mark J. Meiklejohn, president and CEO of BankRI. “At the same time, when Rhode Islanders see a need, they want to help. Our hope is that those who can will consider helping their local pantry.”