The most striking stats in a new R.I. Food Bank survey

Marie Jean-Gilles, of Pawtucket, left, and fellow participant in the Community Kitchen Training Program Domanisha Jimenez, of West Warwick, right, share a laugh at the Rhode Island Food Bank in 2015.
Marie Jean-Gilles, of Pawtucket, left, and fellow participant in the Community Kitchen Training Program Domanisha Jimenez, of West Warwick, right, share a laugh at the Rhode Island Food Bank in 2015.Gretchen Ertl for The Boston Globe

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Happy Thursday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and I’m pumped to watch future Hall of Famer Daniel Jones hand the Patriots their first loss tonight. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

The state’s unemployment rate may be under 4 percent, but there are still plenty of households struggling to put food on the table, according to a survey released Thursday by the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.


The survey of 419 participants who use food banks around the state found 66 percent of households have children or a senior adult, a sign that vulnerable populations are in need of support. Nearly 70 percent of households with children have at least one adult who is working but still struggling for their next meal.

When you dig deeper into the survey, you come across a striking set of responses to questions about how often people have to choose between paying for food and basic services like utilities or rent.

• 31 percent said they’ve chosen between medicine and food at least once in the last year.

• 33 percent said they’ve chosen between utilities and food at least once.

• 33 percent have chosen between rent/mortgage and food at least once.

• 31 percent have chosen between transportation or gas and food at least once.

This is the first time in five years that the Rhode Island Community Food Bank has conducted this kind of comprehensive survey of participants. Officials say it’s designed to help the food bank better understand the populations it serves while highlighting the challenges Rhode Island residents face.


You can read the full survey here.


Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you’ve got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

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Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

• Four Providence Democrats – Orlando Correa, Pedro Espinal, Monica Huertas and Natalia Rosa Sosa – are running in today’s special primary for the Ward 10 City Council seat. This is the race to replace disgraced Councilman Luis Aponte, who resigned in July.


• Tiverton voters head to the polls today for a possible recall of Town Council President Robert Coulter and Vice President Justin Katz.

• Ed Fitzpatrick will be in Dighton tonight for a free community conversation with the New England First Amendment Coalition.

• The nonprofit Building Futures and the Rhode Island Building & Construction Trades Council are holding a seminar that will focus on “Opioids and Your Workforce” at 11:30 a.m. at the UA Local 151 office in East Providence.

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Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you tomorrow.

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