In RI, hunger more prevalent now than in 2008

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — The Rhode Island Community Food Bank released new numbers today and hunger is more prevalent in Rhode Island than it was 10 years ago. These results are even more eye-opening when you consider the country was in the Great Recession ten years ago.

1 out of every 8 households in Rhode Island cannot afford the food they need. While more people do have jobs, the cost of living is going way up.

The shelves constantly have to be restocked at the CCAP food bank in Cranston. The number of food insecure  families is on the rise.

“These are your neighbors, these are your relatives and you may not know it. It’s so important, no child should be hungry in 2018,” says Joanne McGunagle, the CEO of the Comprehensive Community Action Program. She says she’s seen the need for their food services grow over the past few years.

“So many people are working for a wage that just isn’t livable, housing costs are sky high and so they’re faced with that choice, do I pay rent, how do I provide food. It’s hidden poverty,” she says.

That’s in line with the Rhode Island Community Food Bank’s 2018 status report on hunger. The cost of food in has gone up 15 percent in just the past 2 years while average earnings have only gone up 5 percent. That leaves tens of thousands of Rhode Island families hungry.

This thanksgiving CCAP is giving out 650 bags full of food so those families can celebrate the holiday without having to worry.

“While Thanksgiving is a great holiday, it’s a food holiday and I think a lot of families get very nervous about their ability to provide a good, healthy Thanksgiving. So we’re here to do that and help them and they’ve all been really thankful,” says McGunagle.

They’ll also be giving out 350 food baskets for Christmas. They’re always in need of canned goods or monetary donations.

© WLNE/ABC 6 2018