This month, the number of Rhode Islanders seeking help from a statewide network of food pantries has declined. It’s the first decline, says Rhode Island Community Food Bank spokeswoman Cindy Elder, since the beginning of the economic recession in 2008.
“It’s not quite a reason to rejoice because we’re still really at remarkable high levels of need for food assistance.”
In 2008, the food bank was serving about 37,000 people every month. Last year, that number hit an all-time high of 68,000. This month, it’s down a few thousand, to 63,000, from that all-time high. But Elder says food banks could face more demand over the summer with kids away from school and the breakfast and lunch programs they offer.