Reducing food insecurity a focus of grants from BankNewport

THE STAFF AT Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island say they've put the $10,000 grant from BankNewport to good use helping homebound older adults. From left are Wetherley Hundley, Meals on Wheels volunteer coordinator; Shana DeFelice, programs and mission impact director; Meredith Cropper, community relations officer at BankNewport; Meghan Grady, Meals on Wheels executive director; and Keren Dela Cruz, Meals on Wheels finance coordinator. / COURTESY BANKNEWPORT

NEWPORT – BankNewport says it has awarded at least $47,000 in 2023 to help support six nonprofit organizations dedicated to serving those facing food insecurity around Rhode Island.

“BankNewport’s commitment to Rhode Island is rooted in its unwavering dedication to those who champion the causes that are most important to our neighbors,” said Jack Murphy, CEO and president. “We take immense pride in our active role within Rhode Island’s nonprofit community, where dedicated individuals tirelessly and selflessly care for those in need. It’s a great honor to be a part of this collective effort.”

The bank’s $10,000 grant to Meals on Wheels Rhode Island supported its meal delivery program.

Dedicated to tackling the challenges of food insecurity and social isolation, both of which pose threats to the well-being of homebound seniors, the program utilizes its “More Than A Meal” service model to simultaneously address food insecurity and social isolation, which are leading factors for loss of independence amongst homebound older adults.

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“BankNewport’s support is an integral part of our ability to help homebound older adults across the state maintain independent lifestyles,” said Meghan Grady, Meals on Wheels Rhode Island executive director. “We are humbled to be among this year’s grant recipients.”

Other BankNewport grants in support of alleviating hunger in 2023 include:

  • $10,000 to FabNewport provided meals for student campers during the “Newport Experience” program, which serves primarily children of color in Newport public schools.
  • $10,000 grant to Hope & Main to expand its “Nourish Our Neighbors” program to new community partner sites in Providence, increasing access to supplemental food assistance to vulnerable populations in Providence while supporting the local food economy.
  • $7,000 grant to the East Bay Food Pantry for its hunger relief programs and source personal care supplies for low-income East Bay children, adults and seniors served by the pantry, currently supporting 2,035 individuals facing food insecurity within 1,006 households — a 13% rise from the preceding year.
  • $5,000 grant to the Pocasset Pokanoket Land Trust for its Indigenous Roots Forever food access program, to build backyard gardens for Indigenous families and train the families in caring for those gardens using traditional practices.
  • $5,000 grant to the St. Vincent DePaul Society St. Joseph Conference Newport, which helped fund emergency financial assistance for individuals and families facing emergencies, including eviction, homelessness, utility shutoff, lack of home heating oil, need of prescriptions, medical expenses, and clothing.

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