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Our Spring 2014 newsletter features Kids Cafe, Truck Stop, the importance of small gifts and the latest Food Bank news. Click here to flip through our newsletter. Read More..

A Strategic Plan to Guide Our Work

In the current environment, the work of the Food Bank is more important than ever. During the period of our last strategic plan, 2009-2012, the prevelance of food insecurity and hunger reached a ten-year high due to soaring unemployment and growing poverty.

As the need for food assistance skyrocketed, available resources declined. Congress cut emergency food and shelter grants that go directly to our member agencies. The state of Rhode Island significantly reduced funding for the Food Bank. USDA commodity ;supplies were cut back, and donations from local supermarkets to the Food Bank decreased by 20 percent due to competition and greater efficiency in the food industry.

Click here to download a pdf of the Food Bank's complete 2013-2015 Strategic Plan.

Our Guiding Principals

  • Community: The Food Bank is successful because of broad public support and a sturdy network of member agencies. We can never take the public trust for granted, and we have to ensure the network remains strong, even in tough economic times.
  • Quality: The Food Bank must feed people well because good nutrition is critical to good health. We strive to offer the most nutritious food possible to those in need. Helping people obtain access to the federal nutrition programs and encouraging them to shop and cook wisely will have positive long-term consequences on public health, well-being and quality of life.
  • Sustainability: The crucial work of the Food Bank will go on far beyond the three years mapped out by this strategic plan. We have to operate the Food Bank as efficiently as possible and build ongoing support for all of our programs. This means attracting new donors, new volunteers and advocates, even as we deepen the commitment of our current supporters.

Strategic Plan 2013 - 2015

The three principles stated above have guided us through the strategic planning process, and we have examined all of our programs and services in light of these tenets. The goals and objectives presented in our strategic plan are the product of this careful assessment and re-evaluation of our work. We believe this strategic plan gives us an exciting and useful map for the Food Bank through 2015.

Our Goals

  • Goal One: Target assistance to those populations most vulnerable to hunger.
    The number of people seeking assistance at emergency food pantries in Rhode Island grew by an unprecedented 58 percent over the last four years. However, during the same period, food donations decreased as part of a national trend toward greater efficiency in the food industry, leaving less surplus food available for donation. Donated food is now a precious and limited resource and must be supplemented by food purchasing. Therefore, we should ensure that food assistance is directed to those at high risk for hunger.
    • Objective: Maintain annual distribution at 17 million meals through the Food Bank's network and increase the number of meals going to households with children and seniors to one-half of the total.
    • Objective: Work with state agencies and other partners to increase participation in the federal nutrition programs by 10 percent to reduce the meal gap.
    • Objective: Develop and implement a broad-based plan to provide assistance to seniors that includes emergency food, federal nutrition program outreach, improved access to social service programs and nutrition education.
    • Objective: Expand the Food Bank's overall nutrition education programming.
  • Goal Two: Build on the reputation and history of the Food Bank to increase support through innovative campaigns for funds and food.
    • Objective: Exceed the three-year revenue projection by 10 percent through new fundraising and marketing campaigns.
    • Objective: Conduct an innovative campaign to boost food drive donations to 1 million pounds.
    • Objective: Conduct a legislative campaign to significantly increase the state's annual commitment of funds for the Food Bank to acquire food.
    • Increase Board engagement through an annual self-assessment and fundraising plan.
  • Goal Three: Ensure a sustainable food distribution network.
    • Objective: Create geographic contingency plans for maintaining the distribution system.
    • Objective: Create an educational series that includes workshops, special training, peer training and one-on-one training for Member Agencies and agency personnel.
    • Objective: Expand the regional forum work to all high-need cities with a strong focus on Providence as the area with the highest concentration of agencies.

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Canstruction® Returns!

Like a vision from a childhood dream, massive sculptures made entirely from non-perishable food will rise from the imagination of gifted architects this March at Providence Place on the Skybridge Concourse. This ambitious project, known as Canstruction®, makes an appearance every two years, thanks to the inspiration and sweat equity of dozens of professional architects, builders and volunteers.

This year’s free exhibit will be open to the public Saturday, March 8 through Friday, March 21 during regular mall hours. They will be assembled on the morning of March 8 – dubbed Build Day – and the public is invited to watch it happen anytime after 10 am. The structures will be complete by around 2 pm on March 8.

When the exhibit closes, the building materials – thousands of pounds of healthy food – will be picked up by the Rhode Island Community Food Bank to help feed the 68,000 people served every month through its network of food pantries.

The Canstruction® RI sculptures will be evaluated by a panel of independent jurors. Awards will be presented for Best Meal, Best Use of Labels, Structural Ingenuity, Jurors’ Favorite, and Honorable Mention.Viewers may vote for the local “People’s Choice” award.

The seven teams competing include:

  • Construction Leadership Council of the R.I. Chapter of Associated General Contractors, Providence
  • Dimeo Construction Co. and Vision 3 Architects, both based in Providence
  • Durkee, Brown, Viveiros & Werenfels Architects, Providence, GTECH Corporation, Providence, Herrick & White, Cumberland, and Odeh Engineers, Providence
  • Gilbane Building Co., Providence, and Jo Ann Bentley Architect, Inc., Fall River
  • LLB Architects, Pawtucket, Shawmut Design and Construction, Providence, and Fuzion Design, Pawtucket
  • Northeast Collaborative Architects, Newport and Providence, Veri-Waterman Associates, Providence, Building Engineering Resources LLC, North Easton , Mass., and Kasabian Construction Inc., Providence
  • Saccoccio & Associates, DiPrete Engineering and E. Turgeon Construction Corp., all based in Cranston

For more information, visit

The Canstruction® Rhode Island exhibit is organized by the American Institute of Architects-Rhode Island chapter, and supported by many other volunteers and donors as a joint public service activity. Among the major event sponsors is the R.I. Associated General Contractors, some of whose commercial contractor members and the organization’s Construction Leadership Council help form teams that raise additional money to buy the cans of food and build the sculptures that the architects on each team design. Canstruction® is a national food charity of the design and construction industry, sponsored by the Society for Design Administration.


The Rhode Island Community Food Bank is a non-profit organization located in Providence, RI. The Food Bank solicits, stores and distributes food products donated by supermarkets, wholesalers, food processors, local farmers and community food drives. The food is then distributed to the Food Bank’s statewide network of 178 member agency at 223 sites. In the past year, the Food Bank distributed 9.9 million pounds of food. For more information about the Food Bank, please visit

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Help Us Meet the Amica Challenge

Amica Insurance will match gifts to the Food Bank dollar for dollar, up to $25,000, now through March 3 as part of its $75K Amica Challenge. To make your donation now, click here.

This unique matching grant supports the Food Bank, United Way and Crossroads Rhode Island by matching donations to all three organizations, up to $25,000 per charity. If you would like to donate to all three organizations simultaneously, you can do so through March 3 by visiting

For more information on charitable giving, please contact Lisa Roth Blackman at or 401-230-1672.

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Taste of the Flower Show
Be the first to see the RI Spring Flower and Garden Show and sample gourmet fare from dozens of Rhode Island's finest culinary establishments. The Food Bank's Taste of the Flower Preview Party takes place Wednesday, Feb. 19, at the RI Convention Center on the evening before the Garden Show opens. For tickets and information, click here. Read More..

Against the Headwind

The Providence Journal reports that food assistance cuts cause pain to working families as food donations to the Food Bank drop. To read the full story, go to:

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Holiday Meal Drive
Help us collect 350,000 pounds of food by December 31. Donate online or drop off non-perishable donations any weekday between 8 am and 5 pm to our facility at 200 Niantic Avenue, Providence. For more information on how you can help, click here. Read More..

Bob Kerr: Community Farms Help the Food Bank

It is a beautiful, unexpected place where one of the most basic and generous things a person can do is given room to grow. Volunteers have harvested more than 5,000 pounds of food from this land that is part of 600 acres wisely protected from development by conservation liens. They have picked tomatoes, cucumber, kale, eggplant, peppers and squash and hauled it to four area food pantries...

Download the article.

Find out more about our community farms.

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Jewish Voice: "One Kid Can!"
September is Hunger Action Month and the Rhode Island Community Food Bank has released a free twenty-page booklet full of ideas on ways children can participate in the initiative to feed the hungry. “One Kid Can! Helping the Hungry: A Toolkit for Kids and Young Adults” is a thorough guide for every age group, including preschoolers. Read More..

Summer's End Lobster Bake Benefits Culinary Education
Join us as the Rhode Island Community Food Bank and the American Culinary Federation, RI Chapter, team up to host a traditional New England lobster bake overlooking the stunning Newport Harbor. All proceeds benefit the Food Bank's Community Kitchen culinary education program and scholarships offered by the ACFRI to promising culinary students at local colleges and technical schools. Read More..

Summer 2013 Newsletter
Read about the struggles parents face during the summer and the generosity of our community as individuals, businesses and organizations respond to the persistently high need for food assistance. Find out about Food Bank events and our new Community Cooking nutrition education education program for food pantry clients. Read More..

2013 Summer Food Drive Kicks off June 3

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2012 Annual Report
Learn about the work of the Food Bank, its supporters and those we serve in the Food Bank's Annual Report for fiscal year 2012 (7/1/11 - 6/30/12). Read More..

Op Ed: Rhode Islanders Reach Out Daily to Help
Andrew Schiff writes on the generosity of Rhode Islanders who support the Food Bank and the gratitude of clients who receive food assistance. Read More..

Feeding the Hungry
Rhode Island Community Food Bank gets by with fewer large gifts as supermarket efficiencies trim inventories. Read More..

Record Number in RI Seek Food Assistance
Even as need increases, food donations decline federal assistance faces severe cutbacks. Read More..

2012 Status Report on Hunger
Status Report on Hunger 2012 Final.pdf Read More..

Food Bank Receives 2012 Community Leadership Award
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Food Bank's 2011 Annual Report
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Edible Rhody Honors Food Bank
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Watch the Food Bank Video
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Food Bank Marks 30th Anniversary
On Wednesday, at its 30th Anniversary Luncheon, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank is honoring those who have helped along the way, from warehouse volunteers who sort cans and cabbages and farmers who donate fresh-picked produce, to Boy Scouts and letter carriers who organize yearly food drives, to businesses that donate food by the truckload.
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2011 Status Report on Hunger
The Rhode Island Community Food Bank produces this Status Report each year to document the extent of hunger and food insecurity in the state. Read More..

ProJo: No Boundaries to Need
On a Friday morning, hungry men and women jam the free food pantry in one of the wealthiest towns in Rhode Island. Read More..

East Bay: More RI'ers Going Without Food
The economic recession has led to a sharp rise in food insecurity and hunger in the Ocean State, according to stark statistics released Monday by the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Read More..

Projo: Opportunity Can Be Found in the Kitchen
Shawn O’Brien starts cooking early. He visits his 95-year-old grandmother, Ruth Lewis, in Apponaug, and makes her breakfast. He returns later in the day to make her dinner. Read More..

Food Bank Celebrates Community Kitchen Graduation
Food Bank Graduates Students from Community Kitchen Job-Training Program
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WRNI: The Face of Poverty
Poverty has tens of thousands of faces in Rhode Island.
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Congress Passes the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act
On December 2, 2010, Congress gave final approval to a landmark child nutrition bill that will significantly improve federal child nutrition programs.
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Show Your Support of the Food Bank with our Reusable Shopping Bag
Show Your Support of the Food Bank with our Reusable Shopping Bag. Read More..

Nothing Can End Hunger in Rhode Island
Each day, thousands of hungry Rhode Islanders eat Nothing.
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The Food Bank is always seeking to increase public awareness about hunger and demonstrate the ways the community can help. Check out our press releases.

Press Releases 2014
Press Releases 2013
Press Releases 2012
Press Releases 2011
Press Releases 2010
Press Releases 2009
Press Releases 2008

The Food Bank produces a number of publications to keep the community informed about our work and efforts to alleviate hunger.

Current Publications
Archived Publications