RI Community Food Bank

The Latest Facts & Figures on Hunger in Our Community

The Latest Facts and Figures

The Rhode Island Community Food Bank distributes food to people in need through a statewide network of 160 member agencies. These agencies include food pantries, meal sites, shelters, youth programs and senior centers. Each month, 59,000 struggling Rhode Islanders receive food assistance at these agencies. One in three served is a child under the age of 18, and one in five is over the age of 60.

The Food Bank solicits food donations from the public and from the food industry, including supermarkets, food manufacturers and growers. To keep up with the high demand for food assistance, the Food Bank also purchases food at a low cost from wholesalers. Last year, the Food Bank distributed 9.2 million pounds of food.

Sources of Food

  • Food donated by food companies, supermarkets and farms: 45%
  • Food purchased by the Food Bank & COOP: 36%
  • Food Drives: 10%
  • USDA Commodities: 9%

The Scope of the Problem

In every community in Rhode Island, there are individuals and families impacted by hunger. Far too many people still require assistance putting food on the table. And food insecurity greatly affects some of our most vulnerable citizens. The health of children and seniors suffers when they have limited access to adequate nutritious food.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 12 percent of Rhode Islanders, 51,000 households, are food insecure, meaning they are often unsure where their next meal will come from due to lack of resources. The most severe conditions associated with hunger are reported by 4.7 percent of our state’s residents, 20,000 households.

Food Insecurity in the U.S.

  • 12.7% (15.8 million households) are food insecure
  • 5% (6.3 million households) report very low food security

Food Insecurity in Rhode Island

  • 12% (51,000 households) are food insecure
  • 5% (21,500 households) report very low food security (hunger)

Poverty in Rhode Island

  • 14.3% poverty rate
  • 146,000 living in poverty
  • 20% poverty rate for children under the age of 18
  • 42,000 children living in poverty

Who the Food Bank Serves

  • 33% are under the age of 18
  • 20% are over the age of 60
  • 44% of households have one or more employed adults
  • 70% report choosing between paying for food or utilities
  • 62% report choosing between paying for food or rent
  • 22% have a family member in poor health

Our Commitment to Healthy Food

The Food Bank is committed to providing nutritious food. Currently, 89 percent of the food distributed is considered “core food”- healthy foods, including vegetables and fruits, bread, grains, protein, beans and dairy, which can be used to prepare a nutritious meal for a family. Of the 9.2 million pounds of food distributed by the Food Bank last year, over 2.2 million pounds was fresh produce.