When the final school bell rang in June, not all children were excited by the prospect of two months away from school.Â For the 49,000 children eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, summer can be a time of increased hunger. Many families find it difficult to fill the gap created by the loss of school meals.
The Rhode Island Community Food Bank kicked off its Summer Food Drive the end of June in hopes of collecting an additional 150,000 pounds of food by August 31 to ensure that no Rhode Islander goes hungry. Local food businesses have helped the effort with significant deliveries of nutritious food. Individuals and organizations can visit www.rifoodbank.org/SummerFoodDrive to learn more about how they can participate.
“Summer is a uniquely challenging time for us, because donations often drop as people focus more on family time, fun and relaxation,” says Andrew Schiff, Chief Executive Officer of the Food Bank. “And yet the problem of hunger remains constant throughout the year. We can’t let our guard down, because so many Rhode Islanders are counting on us to help them get through the summertime, when food can be especially scarce for families with children.”
Founded thirty years ago, the Food Bank’s now serves more than 60,000 people through its statewide network of emergency food programs. A third of the people served are children under the age of 18.
Businesses and organizations around the state can participate by conducting their own food drives. Promotional materials and collection bins are available at the Food Bank; contact Farris Maxwell at email@example.com or 401-942-6325 Ext. 224 to request supplies.
Families and individuals can get involved by bringing donations directly to the Food Bank’s facility at 200 Niantic Avenue in Providence any weekday between 8 am and 5 pm.
Financial donations can be made at www.rifoodbank.org/SummerFoodDrive. Every dollar donated enables the Food Bank to acquire more than three pounds of nutritious food.
The Summer Food Drive is sponsored by Ocean State Job Lot, Galaxy Nutritional Foods and GoLocalProv.com. In addition, many local food distributors will make significant food donations to the Food Bank during the Summer Food Drive to help the Food Bank reach its 150,000-pound goal.
The poster for the Summer Food Drive was designed by RISD student Karen Sung, who created the design as part of a class project in Professor Susan Doyle’s typography class this spring.
Businesses which supported the Summer Food Drive kick-off include AGAR, Bliss Bros. Dairy, Stop & Shop, Little Rhody Foods, Top This Fire-Grilled Pizza Crusts, Confreda Greenhouses & Farms, King’s Hawaiian, Autocrat, Mansfield Paper Company, Munroe Diary, Pepsi Bottling Company and Roch’s Fresh Foods.