RI food bank begins holiday drive as ‘huge increase’ in demand continues


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The Rhode Island Community Food Bank is kicking off its annual holiday drive and says this year, it’s more important than ever.

The food bank has been distributing 30% more food compared to previous years, according to CEO Andrew Schiff.

“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of Rhode Islanders seeking food assistance,” Schiff said. “And we know that demand only increases during the winter months. We have a long road ahead of us.”

However, unlike previous years, instead of asking people to donate food items, the food bank is requesting monetary donations to accommodate the increasing need.

“We’re moving food in such large quantities that we’re purchasing in bulk,” Schiff said. “On the plus side, we’re able to acquire food at substantial discounts and we can choose nutritious items that people need the most, especially during a public health crisis.”

To help kick off the holiday drive, Stop & Shop donated 1,000 frozen turkeys through its annual Turkey Express campaign, which will be distributed immediately to make sure needy families receive them in time for Thanksgiving, the food bank said.

Visit RIFoodbank.org to learn more and make a donation.

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