Hungry Rhode Islanders will soon have greater access to fresh foods

SNAP benefits will extend to online food shopping; while a partnership between farmers and the R.I. Foodbank will deliver fresh, local produce to residents in need
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE)- Rhode Island residents in need of access to healthy food will soon have a few more options, as the United States Department of Agriculture announced today that food assistance benefits will extend to online purchases.

This will allow for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to purchase food for delivery from grocery stores. A intended start date of the program will be announced soon, according to a USDA press release.

Residents in need will also soon benefit from a unique partnership between local farmers, the Rhode Island Food Bank, and Farm Fresh RI, according to a statement from the state’s congressional delegation.

Farm Fresh RI, which organizes many of the state’s farmers markets, will assemble and deliver 75,000 “Farmers to Families Food Boxes”, according to the statement.

The boxes will contain fresh produce and dairy, all harvested by local farmers delivered to households through the group’s Market Mobile program.

Funding was secured under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which received $3 billion from the mammoth Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The program looks to assist both hungry families and farmers and food distributors, who have seen revenue plummet with restaurants and large institutions like college dining halls shuttered.

According to the statement, Farm Fresh will assemble the boxes and deliver them to the state’s food bank, which will  then distribute them to partner organizations. The University of Rhode Island’s SNAP Education program will provide recipes in multiple languages, and nutrition information.

“Right now in our state there are thousands of families facing hunger,” said Andrew Schiff, CEO of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. “The Food Bank is thrilled to collaborate with Farm Fresh Rhode Island on this new program that will provide fresh, healthy food to those in dire need.”





Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island