The 2015 Status Report on Hunger in the Ocean State is out Monday from the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. The rate of food insecurity in Rhode Island has declined slightly since the peak following the recession, but thousands of Rhode Island families continue to struggle to meet basic food needs.
Food Bank CEO Andrew Schiff said the state’s sluggish economic recovery has had little impact on those most in need.
“We’ve all seen the unemployment rate come down, but what we’re seeing at the level of food pantries and the people that we’re helping, the need remains very, very high,” said Schiff.
Schiff said 60,000 residents are seeking food assistance every month. The Status Report points out that Congress has so far failed to reauthorize the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Key programs under that act will continue to be funded, but Schiff said Congress could do more.
“We need Congress to act on that legislation, to reauthorize those programs,” said Schiff. “To move, to improve and fund them.”
Schiff says expansion of the school lunch, school breakfast and summer meals programs would help the most vulnerable children in the state. That, he says, would benefit everyone, cutting down on kids’ health problems and improving their performance in school.
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