Reed, RI Community Food Bank, USDA & RI Division of Elderly Affairs Launch New Food Assistance Program for Seniors

5/18/2015 — 

Senator Reed joined representatives from the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, the USDA, and the Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs to launch a new senior nutrition initiative in the state, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).

Starting this summer, eligible Rhode Island seniors in need will be able to receive free, bulk boxes of healthy food from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to prepare and enjoy at home.  The packages of nutritious food, meant to help seniors supplement their diet, will be distributed thanks to a new federal-state partnership that was made possible by U.S. Senator Jack Reed and is being administered by the Rhode Island Community Food Bank in conjunction with the Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs. 

The partnership between USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), the RI Division of Elderly Affairs, and the Food Bank -- made possible through a legislative boost from Senator Reed -- will help the Food Bank distribute boxes of nutritious USDA commodities on a monthly basis to seniors in need as part of the federally-funded CSFP, which provides monthly food assistance specifically targeted to low-income seniors.

Senator Reed, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, worked at the federal level to successfully insert language into the Fiscal Year 2015 Agriculture Appropriations bill making it possible for Rhode Island to start participating in CSFP, along with six other states that did not have the program.  Thanks to Senator Reed’s efforts, the state will receive USDA commodities to distribute directly to Rhode Island seniors and over $100,000 in federal funding to help administer the program.