2012-02-16 / Letters to the Editor

Too many R.I. families are going to bed hungry

Imagine you are watching your family go hungry, waiting for a meal, and you can do nothing about it. This is what is happening to many families in Rhode Island. In fact, according to the USDA, over 58,000 households – or 13.7 percent of RI households – cannot afford adequate food.

We are students from Lawn Avenue School. We recently studied the issue of poverty and hunger in Rhode Island and have learned some astonishing facts. For our small part, we decided to participate in a food drive for the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, a group that serves in many ways to help members of the Newport County community.

In Rhode Island, 41 percent of households are food insecure, meaning they have insufficient money or resources for food and must choose between feeding their family members or paying the rent or utilities. The Rhode Island Community Food Bank’s network of 117 emergency food pantries served on average 60,000 people each month in fiscal year 2011, a 58 percent increase since 2008. Also, of those receiving assistance at food pantries (including 60,000 at the Rhode Island Community Food Bank), four of every 10 are families with children under age 18.

It has been found that children who are hungry at night and go to school hungry often perform poorly academically and have a difficult time at school. To find more information on Rhode Island and hunger visit:

• uri.edu/endhunger/HungerFacts. html

• nothing.org/ri/faqs

• rifoodbank.org

• feedingamerica.org

• census.gov

• mlkccenter.org

How can you help? The fifth grade has food donation boxes for canned goods at Lawn Avenue School, Melrose Avenue School, Jamestown library and Baker’s Pharmacy until Friday, Feb. 17. Please help us in this small way to help those in need in our community.

Lauren Toland and Tim Fay

Lawn Avenue School


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