News Bites: RI Community Food Bank & Amica, City of Providence, Southside Community Land Trust & Rhode Island Foundation, and Bonefish Grill

by David Dadekian

Rhode Island Community Food BankThree current news releases—Eat Drink RI is not the source for these items—please follow any links for more information.

Rhode Island Community Food Bank & Amica Insurance

Between Monday, January 14th and Wednesday, February 15th, Amica Insurance will match donations made on this giving page to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, up to $25,000.  United Way of Rhode Island and Crossroads Rhode Island have also received $25,000 matching grants as part of the Amica Challenge. Visit this donation page to make a gift to the Food Bank that will be matched by Amica.  Thanks for participating in the Challenge!

City of Providence, Southside Community Land Trust & The Rhode Island Foundation

Providence Environmental Initiative Will Transform Vacant City-Owned Parcels into Urban Farms

‘Lots of Hope’ program awarded $100,000 by Rhode Island Foundation and Florida-based Local Sustainability Matching Fund

The City of Providence, in partnership with the Southside Community Land Trust and the Rhode Island Foundation, is embarking on a new initiative to convert city-owned vacant lots into productive urban farms.

“Lots of Hope is an innovative new program that will help to build a more sustainable and healthy City for years to come,” said Mayor Angel Taveras. “Providence has a vital environmental community committed to helping make the city more sustainable. Together, we are moving forward to transform Providence into one of the greenest cities in the nation. I thank the Rhode Island Foundation, the Local Sustainability Matching Fund and Southside Community Land Trust for partnering with the City of Providence on this exciting initiative.”

The Lots of Hope program will enable Providence residents to access low-cost, underutilized public land from the City along with technical assistance and hands-on support from Southside Community Land Trust. The program is financed by a $50,000 grant from the Florida-based Local Sustainability Matching Fund and a matching $50,000 grant from the Rhode Island Foundation.

The City is currently working with the Southside Community Land Trust to identify land parcels fit for use as urban gardens. With the approval of the City Council, the City will enter into long-term, low-cost leases with the Southside Community Land Trust, which in turn will sublease the plots to residents and community organizations for farming.

“Fresh, affordable and locally grown food is good for Providence families, our communities and our economy,” said Margaret DeVos, executive director of Southside Community Land Trust. “Lots of Hope demonstrates Southside Community Land Trust’s 30-year commitment to healthy lifestyles, high quality of life and environmental sustainability in neighborhoods across the City. We are grateful for Mayor Taveras’ leadership in convening this partnership.”

Lots of Hope is designed to improve access to locally grown fresh produce in neighborhoods at risk of becoming “food deserts” due to insufficient access to conventional grocery stores. The program will expand Providence’s portfolio of green, open space and contribute to improvements in air quality, public health and local property values.

In addition, Lots of Hope will introduce a residential composting program, enabling families in low-income, environmentally at-risk neighborhoods to reduce solid waste and create a local source of high-quality compost that supports urban food production.

“We are tremendously excited about this project,” said Jennifer Pereira, a grant program officer with the Rhode Island Foundation. “It is a win-win-win for Providence – increasing the City’s green space and local food production; improving neighborhoods; and fostering innovative new ventures for our communities. The Foundation is pleased to strengthen our partnership with the City of Providence’s Office of Sustainability and we look forward to working together on this wonderful effort.”

Providence is one of six cities across the nation to receive a grant from the Local Sustainability Matching Fund this year. The Fund is a collaborative effort of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, the Urban Sustainability Directors Network, Kendeda Fund, New York Community Trust, Summit Foundation, and Surdna Foundation, and is designed to catalyze partnerships between local governments and local, place-based foundations and to advance community-based sustainability initiatives.

“The Local Sustainability Matching Fund is catalyzing efforts of local communities to green their cities and counties,” said Diane Ives, a fund advisor for the Kendeda Fund. “The Kendeda Fund believes that the local passion and dedication demonstrated in these projects will create new models for how to live sustainably. We are eager to see the impact of this work at the local level, and how it gets replicated in other urban settings around the country.”

Information about how interested residents can get involved with Lots of Hope will be announced this spring.

Bonefish Grill

Bonefish Grill’s First New England Location Opens in Rhode Island and Greets Community with Fresh Seafood, Stellar Philanthropy

Partnership with the The Groden Network Raises More Than $7,500

Bonefish Grill recently opened its first New England location at 2000 Chapel Boulevard in Cranston, RI. In anticipation of the grand opening and to demonstrate community support, Bonefish Grill held a Charity Night on January 12th to raise funds for The Groden Network, the area’s largest provider of autism-related services. Attendees enjoyed fresh seafood, refreshing cocktails, and spectacular ambiance and music— all for a great cause—raising more than $7,500 for the non-profit.

“We are so pleased to be part of the vibrant Chapel View community,” says Bryan Schosker, managing partner of Bonefish Grill in Cranston. “Our team is looking forward to providing locals with the classic Bonefish Grill experience—from fresh fish and innovative dishes to warm hospitality and inviting atmosphere—and showing Rhode Islanders why so many guests around the nation love our restaurant.”

The ZAGAT award-winning restaurant’s “Fresh Fish Experts” bring wood-grilled fish, seafood and chops, innovative sauces and indulgent desserts to New England. Coupling great-tasting food with a welcoming bar that features an array of ‘bar-fresh’ cocktails, extensive craft beer selections, and an adventurous wine list, Bonefish Grill will excite and delight guests no matter what their mood.

Patrons can expect to dive into a culinary experience, choosing from signature appetizers and hand helds including Bonefish Grill’s famous Ahi Tuna Sashimi, PEI Mussels Josephine and “American Style” Kobe Beef Burgers. Guests can also select simply-grilled fish with a choice of four signature sauces or truly indulge with market-fresh “specials” that change daily to offer guests a variety of seasonal flavors and selections from around the world.

The 6,280 square-foot Cranston restaurant features a spacious dining room with a large, energetic bar area that includes several community tables. Overall, the restaurant has a seating capacity for approximately 294 patrons, including 80 in the bar area. The interior’s sleek design features beautiful hardwood floors and hand-blown glass amber lamps throughout the restaurant. An attractive array of three-dimensional art, ranging from large-scale metal sculptures of mangroves and fishing scenes to a large mystical fish rubbing, enhances the ambience felt throughout the restaurant.

Dinner is served seven days a week: from 4 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 4 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. on Sunday with a Sunday brunch served from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. While reservations are not required, they are available by calling (401) 275-4970. An ample number of seats are available nightly for walk-ups.

For more information on Bonefish Grill, visit, or follow us on Twitter (@bonefishgrill).

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