The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) is partnering with Whole Foods Markets and other sponsors for its 3rd annual Stuff-A-Bus food drive to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank on Saturday, December 20, 2014.
RIPTA staff members will be at the Whole Foods at University Heights on North Main Street in Providence and the Whole Foods on Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston from 9 a.m. to noon to collect canned goods and other non-perishable food items. People who donate will receive promotional gifts from RIPTA such as drawstring bags and tee-shirts, while supplies last.
Other community partners participating in the food drive include radio stations Coast 93.3 and B101, as well as the Pawtucket Red Sox and Rhody Sports.
“We are so grateful to RIPTA, Whole Foods, and I Heart Radio for coming together to stuff a bus with healthy food for people in need,” Andrew Schiff, Chief Executive Officer of the Food Bank said this week. “The Food Bank is currently serving more than 63,000 people each month through its network of food pantries statewide—a near record high. It takes the support of the entire community to ensure that we can keep the shelves stocked during the holiday season, and all winter long.”
RIPTA will have a bus at each location with the goal of filling each one with donations for the food bank.
“RIPTA is partnering up with Whole Food Markets, I Heart Radio, and the Food Bank in an effort to ensure that no one will go hungry this holiday season,” said Dan Bannister, Marketing and Outreach Manger for RIPTA. “We’re looking forward to being in Cranston and Providence Saturday and meeting the people who will help us make this food drive successful.”
A recent report on hunger in Rhode Island from the Community Food Bank shows that the demand has nearly doubled from what it was in 2007.
“The level of hunger…in Rhode Island today remains nearly as high as it was at the peak of the recession,” the reported was quoted in a November 23 article in the Providence Journal newspaper.
As a partner in Saturday’s food drive, Whole Foods Market has agreed to match the food donations up to $500 per store.
Schiff noted that an advantage of having the event at the two markets is that if people forget a donation, they can simply purchase something while they’re doing their own shopping.
The Cranston Whole Foods Market is located at 151 Sockanosset Cross Road, adjacent to the Garden City Shopping Center. The Providence market is at 601 North Main Street in the University Heights Plaza.
For RIPTA, this will be the third annual “Stuff-a-Bus Food Drive” benefiting the Rhode Island Food Bank. A committed community partner, RIPTA has already collected nearly 9,000 pounds of food for the Rhode Island Food Bank since 2012. For more information on RIPTA programs and services, visit www.RIPTA.com.