From the Rhode Island Community Food Bank comes the following two news releases. The first covers this year’s Summer Food Drive, which kicks off on June 3rd. The number of those without food in Rhode Island—a third of which are children under the age of 18—has doubled over the last six years and donations in that time have sadly decreased. Please read the details below and see how you can help this summer.
Also below is information on Word Soup, a new online poetry journal founded by Rhode Island poet Kim Baker, which is looking for poetry submissions on hunger and includes collecting donations for the RI Food Bank and Share Our Strength.
Summer Food Drive Kicks Off Monday, June 3
Major food donors make first major delivery of the summer
Public urged to conduct food drives
With the need for food assistance at an all time high, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank is seeking help from private businesses and the general public to collect 150,000 additional pounds of food this summer. On Monday, June 3, at 9:30 am, the Food Bank will kick off its 2013 Summer Food Drive at its facility at 200 Niantic Avenue.
A caravan of trucks, led by Ocean State Job Lot, will deliver the first major food donations of the summer. In addition, food drive posters, collection bins and information kits will be available to the general public.
“Many local companies are stepping up with donations of food and funds to help families get through the challenging summer months,” said Andrew Schiff, Chief Executive Officer of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. “We’re also counting on caring individuals to initiate food drives in their neighborhoods, businesses, organizations and faith communities.”
Food donations have been dropping in recent years, while the need has grown at a staggering pace. The Food Bank’s statewide network of food pantries and meal sites now serves more than 66,000 people every month, up from 33,000 in 2007.
One in three served by the Food Bank is a child under the age of 18. Currently, 22% of Rhode Island’s children live below the federal poverty threshold. Rhode Island has the highest level of food insecurity in New England.
Childhood hunger is a particularly challenging problem during the summer, when school lunches and breakfasts are no longer available to children in need. Less than 10% of the 50,000 Rhode Island children receiving free and reduced-price lunches accessed the federally funded Summer Food Service Program last year.
“We are working with the Rhode Island Department of Education and other key partners to increase participation in the Summer Food Service Program,” said Schiff. “In the meantime, we need to be prepared for a significant increase in demand at our food pantries across the state. We really need every concerned citizen to consider what they can give.”
Food drive materials will be available at the Food Bank’s offices at 200 Niantic Avenue in Providence every weekday from 8 am to 5 pm while supplies last. For more information on conducting your own food drive, contact Farris Maxwell at [email protected] or 401-230-1690.
Financial donations are critically important as well. Every dollar donated enables the Food Bank to acquire three pounds of nutritious food. You can donate online at www.rifoodbank.org/SummerFoodDrive or send a check to Summer Food Drive, RI Community Food Bank, 200 Niantic Avenue, Providence, RI 02907.
The Summer Food Drive is sponsored by Ocean State Job Lot and Go Veggie™. 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.
Other businesses supporting the Summer Food Drive kick-off include Bliss Bros. Dairy, Stop & Shop, Little Rhody Foods, Top This Fire-Grilled Pizza Crusts, Confreda Greenhouses & Farms, Pippin Orchard, Daniele Inc., Autocrat, Mansfield Paper Company, Munroe Diary, Pepsi Bottling Company and Roch’s Fresh Foods, Reinhart Food Service and AGAR.
Word Soup Seeks Poetry Submissions on Issue of Hunger
New online poetry journal raises money for RI Food Bank and Share Our Strength
Word Soup, a new online poetry journal founded by Rhode Island poet Kim Baker, is accepting submissions now through August 1 for its premier issue, due out in September 2013. Poets may send three to five poems per submission. A reading fee of $6/submission will be donated entirely to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and Share Our Strength, a national organization focused on childhood hunger.
“Word Soup wants to end hunger one poem at a time,” says Baker. “To that glorious end, we are seeking well-crafted poems on the theme of hunger. Imagine “hunger” in all its possible meanings, from physical food deprivation to hunger for love, acceptance, actualization.”