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Beginning July 11, Bank Rhode Island (BankRI) is offering the community two ways to join its efforts to alleviate hunger in the Ocean State this summer. In addition to collecting nonperishable food items at all 20 of its branches statewide through August 19, BankRI will match the first $5,000 in donations made in support of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank’s online Summer Funds Drive.
“The rate of food insecurity in Rhode Island has skyrocketed over the past two-plus years; it is unacceptable that one in six of our neighbors struggle to consistently put food on their tables,” said Mark J. Meiklejohn, BankRI’s President and CEO. “So whether you’re able to help this summer with a donation of food or funds, every contribution makes a difference for those who need it most.”
For its in-branch food drive, all BankRI locations feature collection bins in their lobbies for donations of nonperishable items. Each branch has also partnered with a pantry that serves its community to ensure the food it collects stays local to feed area residents. In total, 15 pantries are benefitting from the bank’s drive.
In Middletown, food collected at the Bank’s local branch at 132 East Main Road will benefit the food pantry at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.
With the matching gift challenge in support of the Food Bank, BankRI is aiming to help the organization increase financial donations intended for the purchase of additional food. Thanks to its ability to buy food in bulk, every dollar donated to the Food Bank can be stretched further to help more Rhode Islanders in need. Over the past year, the Food Bank has distributed 15+ million pounds of food – more than any other year in its history.
“The Food Bank is so grateful for BankRI’s support,” said Andrew Schiff, the Food Bank’s CEO. “Inflation has caused many Rhode Islanders to make impossible choices around food. BankRI and its generous customers are helping to ensure that no one has to choose between food and other basic necessities this summer.”
Foods most needed by pantries includes canned and dried beans, nutritious breakfast cereals, canned fruits and vegetables, boxed macaroni and cheese, whole wheat pasta, and tomato sauce. To make a donation of nonperishable food at a BankRI branch, locations and their hours can be found at BankRI.com/locations.