PROVIDENCE, R.I. – One in every seven Rhode Islanders is food insecure and a record number are relying on food pantries to put food on the table. That, according to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank's annual report which will be released later today.
The number of people using food pantries for assistance has risen by 17,000 a month since the Recession began three years ago. Food bank CEO Andrew Schiff says the current pace of nearly 10 million pounds a year is unsustainable.
Providence, RI – By MEGAN HALL The Rhode Island Retail Federation is feeling optimistic about sales this coming holiday weekend.
Executive director Paul DeRoche says it's the first time in two years he's felt positive about sales on so called Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.
He's predicting a slight increase in purchases- up about 1.4% from last year. "Particularly in the technology field," DeRoche says. "I-Pads, I-Phones. I think we're going to be pleasantly surprised after Black Friday."
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Northeast Offshore Wind Summit is being held in Providence Monday and Tuesday. Regional developers and policymakers are reviewing the energy potential of wind power as well as the necessity of training a workforce for the new wind industry.
While the conference has focused on offshore wind projects such as the wind farm on Block Island, Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation Government Affairs Director Fred Hashway says on-shore special area management projects are important too.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Crossroads Rhode Island is getting some badly needed financial help. The Rhode Island Foundation has presented Crossroads with a check for $100,000 to deal with the overflow conditions it's confronting this year.
Crossroads president Anne Nolan says they saw more homeless people by the end of July as they did in all of 2009.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The Providence tourism industry appears to be on the rebound. Sixty-four percent of hotel rooms have been full on average so far this year, compared to 57 percent at this time last year.
The statistics come from the Providence Convention and Visitors Bureau whose spokeswoman, Kristen Adamo, says the hotel industry is back to pre-recessionary levels.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Gas prices in Rhode Island have jumped 11 cents since last week and are up 16 cents in the last two weeks.
AAA Southern New England says in a weekly survey Tuesday that self-serve regular unleaded is now averaging $2.80 per gallon, or a penny below the national average. The average price in Rhode Island at the same time last year was $2.50.
AAA attributes the spike to a weakened U.S. dollar and an increase in global demand.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Thirty years ago it was unheard of for a family to turn up at a homeless shelter. But today - three years into the worst recession since the Great Depression - families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in Rhode Island.
Nine-year-old Nicoi Thomas, a sweet girl with a mass of curly brown hair, comes home excited about what she's learned at school.