First Gentleman of RI Andy Moffit and the RI Community Food Bank’s Andrew Schiff stopped by “The Rhode Show” on Monday morning to chat about the Food Bank’s Summer Food Drive.
More info from the RI Community Food Bank:
Each year, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank launches a Summer Food Drive to help ensure no one in Rhode Island goes hungry during the summer months.
As summer begins, we start to think of taking time off and going away on vacation, but the need for food assistance in our state remains.
We often think of food insecurity during the winter, but the Food Bank and its member agencies serve 59,000 people each month regardless of the season.
Critical Months of Summer
Summer is a critical time for the Rhode Island Food Bank for a number of reasons:
1. Summer Meal Gap
Families with school-aged children struggle to acquire enough food to meet their needs. During the school year, more than 50,000 Rhode Island children receive free and reduced-priced lunches at their schools. In the summer, these meals are no longer available so we see an increase in families visiting our food pantries to help fill this gap.
2. Food Donations from the Public Decrease
At the same time, food donations from the general public decrease during the summer months. People often think of supporting the Food Bank around the holidays and in the cold months of winter. We appreciate that support but we feed an average of 59,000 individuals each month so we need to continually replenish our food supply.
3. Food Industry Donations Have Decreased
Overall, donations from the food industry have decreased as companies become much more efficient and streamlined. There is less “salvage” for them to donate, yet we still have to acquire enough food to serve our neighbors in need.
As a result, we need to purchase more than one-third of the food we distribute. That’s where fundraising becomes so critical. On the plus side, we can choose healthier foods and ensure that nutritious options are available for families visiting our member agencies.
Summer Food Drive
Each summer we kick off the Summer Food Drive in an effort to engage the public in donating food and funds all summer long. It’s an opportunity to remind people that hunger doesn’t take a summer vacation. In fact, our member agencies are serving just as many children and families while Rhode Islanders are enjoying beautiful beach weather.
The Summer Food Drive is a great way for everyone to get involved. You can hold a food drive at your workplace or business. We have posters, barrels and boxes available for anyone who needs them. Or you can even visit our website to make a financial donation at RIFoodBank.org.