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RHODE MAP

These nonprofits are making a big difference in R.I.

Food banks help people who are considered food insecure and unable to afford adequate food.DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images

It’s Thanksgiving week, so it’s especially important to shine a spotlight on the nonprofits across Rhode Island that are working to address food insecurity, homelessness, and behavioral health challenges.

Later this morning, the Rhode Island Foundation is planning to announce that it has distributed $8.3 million to 91 organizations through its nonprofit support program that is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.

Among the organizations receiving grants from the foundation are the Boys and Girls Clubs of Newport, Pawtucket, and Providence; the East Bay Food Pantry; Lucy’s Hearth; Progreso Latino; and the WARM Shelter in Westerly.

”Nonprofits across the state have been going above and beyond to provide support and resources to people in need,” Neil Steinberg, the foundation’s president and CEO, said. “Given the impact of COVID-19 and ongoing cost increases, our grants ensure they can continue doing the essential work that their communities depend on.”

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The foundation still has $11.7 million more to give to nonprofits from that fund. You can learn more here.

Another one of the foundation’s grant recipients, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, is holding a virtual Town Hall at 10 a.m. to discuss its latest status report on hunger in our state.

One of the most striking findings in the report is that between April and June of 2022, 31 percent of households were considered food insecure and unable to afford adequate food. That’s more than three times higher than the food insecurity rate before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report also notes that more than 60,000 Rhode Islanders are being served at food pantries each month in 2022, which is 10,000 more per month than last year.

The food bank is calling on state leaders to make the schools’ free breakfast and lunch program that was implemented during the pandemic permanently free for all students. The federally funded program ended in September, but states like Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine have continued offering free breakfast and lunch.

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This story first appeared in Rhode Map, our free newsletter about Rhode Island that also contains information about local events, data about the coronavirus in the state, and more. If you’d like to receive it via e-mail Monday through Friday, you can sign up here.


Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.