All ages invited to donate food, tour the Food Bank, sort fresh produce for food pantries and enjoy musical performances.
The Rhode Island Community Food Bank will open its doors to families, community groups and the public on Saturday, December 13 for the annual Holiday Meal Drive Open House. The all-ages event will be held at the Food Bank’s facility at 200 Niantic Avenue in Providence.
The event is free and no registration is required. Donations of non-perishable food are requested to help the Food Bank meet its goal of collecting an additional 350,000 pounds of food by December 31. Most needed items include: canned tuna, peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, dried or canned beans, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, healthy breakfast cereal, and canned soups, stews or chili.
Holiday Meal Drive Open House
Saturday, December 13, from 9 am to noon
Where: RI Food Bank’s facility at 200 Niantic Avenue in Providence
Cost: Free. Donations of non-perishable food are requested
“The Open House is a time when the entire community can come together around the simple idea of feeding our people,” says Andrew Schiff, Chief Executive Officer of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. “We encourage everyone to donate healthy, non-perishable food that can be used to make a nutritious meal for a family, because so many of the people we serve have children or seniors in the household.”
The Rhode Island Community Food Bank now serves 63,000 people every month through its statewide network of food pantries. One in three served is a child under the age of 18. One in five is a senior 60 years of age or older. Last year, the Food Bank distributed nearly 10 million pounds of food to ensure that no Rhode Islander goes hungry.
Music will be provided by the a cappella group, “Voices of Christmas,” Rhode Island teen singer/songwriter Emeline Easton and the Wheeler Jazz Ensemble. Activities for children include a scavenger hunt, packaging of fresh produce, and a make-your-own donation can. Hot chocolate, cider and cookies fresh from the Food Bank’s Community Kitchen will be served.
Live demonstrations by the Food Bank’s “Community Cooking: Wholesome Eating on a Budget” program will be presented. The Community Cooking program brings nutrition education to clients of food pantries and empowers them to eat healthier on a tight budget using food that can be obtained from a food pantry.
The 2015 Rhode Island edition of City Dining Cards will be on sale for $20/deck — $10 from every sale goes directly to the Food Bank. This year’s Rhode Island edition offers savings to an expanded selection of restaurants and food trucks across the state.
The Holiday Meal Drive Open House is open to individuals and families, as well as civic, business and faith groups. Children’s programs, such as the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts or local school groups, are also invited to participate (with adult supervision).
Financial Donations Help Feed the Hungry
Financial donations are critical in helping the Food Bank provide healthy food to families struggling to feed their families on extremely low incomes. Every dollar raised enables the Food Bank to acquire three pounds of nutritious food for Rhode Islanders in need. Contributions may be made online at www.rifoodbank.org/donate. You may also call 401-942-6325 or mail your donation to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, 200 Niantic Avenue, Providence, RI 02907.
If you are unable to attend the Holiday Meal Drive Open House, you may drop off donations of non-perishable food any weekday (excluding holidays) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the Food Bank’s facility at 200 Niantic Avenue in Providence.
For more information, visit www.rifoodbank.org or call 401-942-6325.