Updated March 25 at 2:33pm

R.I. Foundation awards $300K in emergency grants


(Updated, 11:20 a.m.)

PROVIDENCE – For the fourth year, the Rhode Island Foundation has awarded year-end emergency grants to assist people who are struggling with basic needs such as food, heating and housing.

The grants come as more first-time clients are seeking assistance for heating and shelter, and more than 14 percent of the state’s population is “insecure” about getting food on the table, the foundation’s news release said.

The Rhode Island Community Food Bank, Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund at the Salvation Army and the Rhode Island Emergency Winter Shelter Task Force were granted $100,000 each.

The winter shelter task force includes the following shelters, with a capacity of 272 beds, which was made possible by the grant:

  • Crossroads Rhode Island

  • Emmanuel House

  • Harvest Community Church

  • Mathewson Street Church

  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

  • Westerly Area Rest and Meals

  • Aquidneck Island Area shelter

“These funds will be used in conjunction with other resources, assuring that persons and families experiencing homelessness in Rhode Island have adequate shelter during the harsh winter months,” said Michael Tondra, Chief-Office of Housing and Community Development, Rhode Island.

“We assist families who do not qualify for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program and last year nearly 1,400 households reached out to us for assistance,” said Lt. John Luby, Providence County Coordinator of the Salvation Army, which oversees the Good Neighbor Fund. “Unfortunately, we anticipate requests to increase this winter and this emergency grant will enable us to help approximately 300 families this winter.”

“This major gift from the Rhode Island Foundation comes at a critical time and will help us provide nutritious food to our neighbors in need,” said Andrew Schiff, CEO of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. “Every dollar donated to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank enables us to acquire more than three pounds of healthy food.”

“The Foundation’s grantmaking typically focuses on long-term solutions to the challenges facing Rhode Island. In this extended time of great need, however, our board felt it was important to provide emergency funds to help keep people healthy, safe and warm this winter thereby preventing additional problems,” said Neil Steinberg, president and CEO of The Rhode Island Foundation.


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