As we continue to weather the effects and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must not forget the basic human necessity that so many in our state are struggling to provide for themselves and their families during this unprecedented period of health and economic uncertainty – food.

September is Hunger Action Month and it is imperative that we all step up and help our families, friends, and neighbors who are struggling with hunger and lack of necessities.

Our food banks and pantries have been stretched to the limits since COVID-19 hit our state and country.  With so many paychecks, jobs, and businesses lost, thousands of our residents were forced to rely upon our food banks and pantries for the crucial sustenance needed to live on a daily basis.

In 2020, 11 percent of Rhode Island households are food insecure, meaning they are not able to afford enough food.  Even worse, 4.7 percent of our state’s households have very little food security, leading them to often forego meals and experience devastating hunger.  These households are comprised of adults, children, and our senior citizens and they all need our help.

So what can you do?

Donate food and much-needed dollars.  Volunteer your time.  Spread the message that our fellow Rhode Islanders need our help.  All of these contributions are valuable and every little bit of generosity and compassion will help those who are forced to use these crucial life-line services.

As stated before, September is Hunger Action Month, and with so much uncertainty and difficulties occurring due to COVID-19, economic fallout, and cultural divisiveness, now it is more important than ever for us to remember those who are struggling, those who are in need of a little help, and those who want nothing more than enough to eat every day for themselves and their families.

Do not forget our families, friends, and neighbors and please support our North Kingstown Food Pantry.  You have no idea how far your small donation of food, money, or time can go and how much it will mean to those who rely upon these services.

Rep. Julie A. Casimiro, a Democrat, represents District 31 in the RI House of Representatives.  She resides in North Kingstown

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