With all the merrymaking and gift-giving going on in December, it’s easy to forget that Rhode Island ranks highest for food insecurity in New England, according to the latest Rhode Island Food Bank report. Worse still, the United States Department of Agriculture claims 15.5% of Rhode Islanders (about 67,000 households) are labeled as “food insecure” - a USDA label for families suffering from such problems as “reduced quality, variety or desirability of diet” and “disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.” No matter how you look at it, this issue is a huge stain on this little state.
But opportunities abound to combat the problem, and with it being the season to support one’s fellow man, now is the time to take an extra step toward feeding a family and making someone’s festive season truly memorable.
First opportunity: When shopping for a foodie, look no further than 16-year-old chef Catherine Amoriggi’s full-color 2014 calendar, which features her original recipes and stunning photos of her creations. The generosity and support of the Amoriggi family makes it possible for 100% of the proceeds to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. Calendars are $15 each and can be purchased from Books on the Square, Farmstead and Stock Culinary Goods.
Second: For less gift-giving and more good-eating, the City Dining Cardsreturn for another year of intense restaurant savings. This year’s deck deals out 50 cards that give $10 off the price of a $30 meal at such restaurants as Abyssinia, Tortilla Flats, India and Rasoi. Each deck costs $20. When ordering a deck online, use the coupon code RIFoodBank and $11 of the purchase price will go directly to supporting the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. (Alternatively, buying them directly from the RICFB will do the same.)
Third: There’s always the good, old fashioned donating-food-for-the-betterment-of-all method. For the month of December, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank is looking for donations of what they consider “most needed” food items: tuna, peanut butter, canned fruits and veggies, nutritious breakfast cereals, granola bars - the list goes on and on. Call the RICFB at 942-6325 for more information about which items are appropriate for donation. Items can be dropped off at the RICFB (200 Niantic Ave) any weekday, from 8am to 5pm.
Fourth: On December 1, from 11am-3pm, stop by Chez Pascal (960 Hope Street) for their Art and Craft Sale. Shop for handmade gifts created by local artists and take a chance on a raffle basket all while having lunch at the Wurst Kitchen. And, of course, the bar will be open. All proceeds from the raffle will go towards a charitable cause.