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Food Bank Open House Set for Saturday, Dec. 7

All ages invited to donate and sort food, tour the Food Bank, enjoy festive music and  meet local celebrities.

The Rhode Island Community Food Bank will open its doors to the public on Saturday, December 7, from 9 am to noon, for the annual Holiday Meal Drive Open House. The event, sponsored by Unilever and CVS/Caremark, will be held at the Food Bank’s facility at 200 Niantic Avenue in Providence.

holiday open house  small fileAll ages are invited to bring and sort donations of non-perishable food, take a tour of the facility and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies. Music will be provided by the a cappella group “Voices of Christmas” and local teen singer/songwriter Emeline Easton. Activities for children include a scavenger hunt, packaging of fresh produce, and a make-your-own donation can.

The Open House will also feature several celebrity guests, including Miss Rhode Island Teen USA 2014 Gabriella Maggiacomo and teen chef and food blogger Catherine Amoriggi.

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.

A variety of “gifts that give back” will be on sale, including the 365 Food Calendar 2014 created by Catherine Amoriggi, City Dining Cards for savings at local restaurants, and the re-release of the 1986 Rhode Island Bandwagon album, “Three Sides of Hunger, which features dozens of notable Rhode Island musicians, politicians, community leaders and journalists.

The Holiday Meal Drive launched on November 1 with a goal of collecting an additional 350,000 pounds of food by December 31. Most needed items include: peanut butter, canned tuna, canned fruits and vegetables, dried or canned beans, pasta, rice, breakfast cereal, and canned soups, stews or chili.

“The Open House is one of our most joyful events of the year,” says Andrew Schiff, Chief Executive Officer of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. “It’s a time when families can come together to help us feed hungry Rhode Islanders and have a true hands-on experience at the Food Bank.”

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).

Food and Funds Contribute to Goal

Financial donations also help the Food Bank reach its Holiday Meal Drive goal. Every dollar raised enables the Food Bank to acquire three pounds of nutritious food for Rhode Islanders in need. Contributions can be made online at www.rifoodbank.org/HolidayMealDrive or by sending a check to 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 every weekday 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 .

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 178 member agency programs at 238 sites. In the past fiscal year, the Food Bank distributed 9.9 million pounds of food.

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