Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center

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.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.