Each month, more than 65,000 Rhode Islanders at-risk for hunger are helped by the Rhode Island Community Food Bank; a number that has grown steadily over the past few years as the state’s economy continues to struggle. While many envision the holidays as a time of increased need, the summer months present a greater challenge as donations decline and children are out of school, lacking access to the Federal School Breakfast and Lunch Programs. Fortunately, the Food Bank has community partners, like Bank Rhode Island, dedicated to ensuring that no one goes hungry.
In response to the Food Bank’s Summer Food Drive, an effort that ran from June 20 to Aug. 31, Bank Rhode Island set-up collections at its operations center, corporate office and at each of their 17 branches; generating more than 15,000 pounds to help their neighbors in need. The food was delivered to the Food Bank on the final day of the Summer Food Drive, helping the organization generate more than 175,000 pounds to surpass the drive’s goal of collecting 150,000 pounds.
For ten weeks, bank customers, staff and members of the community generously filled collection boxes with nutritious foods such as tuna fish, canned vegetables, pasta, cereal, peanut butter, and more. Bank Rhode Island also made a financial contribution to help the Food Bank leverage its food purchasing ability.
“We’ve been partnering with the Food Bank on the Summer Food Drive for years, and it’s become something that our customers and staff look forward to as a way to help our communities,” said Mark J. Meiklejohn, President & CEO, Bank Rhode Island. “The more than seven tons that we generated is a great example of the impact we can make when we come together in support of a common cause. I couldn’t be more proud of our customers and staff members for helping the Food Bank exceed its goal for the drive.”
Among its branch locations, Bank Rhode Island had strong competition for the top collecting site. The Woonsocket branch led the way, collecting nearly 1,500 pounds; followed by Park Avenue, Smithfield, the East Side and North Kingstown. Over the past two years alone, Bank Rhode Island has collected more than 31,000 pounds of food in support of the Food Bank’s Summer Food Drive.
“The impressive amount of food collected by Bank Rhode Island is a testament to their customers and leadership and says a lot about who they are as a community partner,” said Andrew Schiff, Chief Executive Officer of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. “Even in these difficult economic times, Rhode Islanders pull together to help ensure that the most vulnerable members of our society do not go hungry.”