Community Food Bank Straining To Keep Up With Demand

Nov 25, 2013

The Rhode Island Community Food Bank is out with its annual report on hunger.  It shows the recession is still playing a very large role in the lives of Ocean State residents.

This year saw the demand for food rise in Rhode Island.
Credit Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

The Rhode Island Community Food Bank is now serving 68-thousand people a month, up three percent from a year ago and an all-time high.  At the same time, food donations are down by nearly two million pounds, said Food Bank CEO Andrew Schiff.

"We’re concerned because we’re already at capacity serving 68,000 people each month. Keeping up with the demand is getting harder and harder because food donations are down as the food industry and supermarkets become more efficient and have less surplus food to give away," said Schiff.

Schiff says 15 percent of Rhode Islanders are food insecure – meaning they lack the resources to purchase enough food.  Heather Baker, a single mother of four, is one of them.

"It is hard to stretch and that’s why I utilize the food pantry once a month. The end of the month is pretty hard," said Baker.

One-hundred-eighty-thousand Rhode Islanders qualify for food stamps. Benefits were cut back November 1st and may be cut again.

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