The program will distribute over 100 tractor trailer loads of food throughout the year to 15 food banks, which in turn distribute to thousands of pantries, kitchens, and meal insecurity sites across six New England states, New York, and New Jersey, including: Rhode Island Community Food Bank (Providence, RI), Connecticut Food Bank (Wallingford, CT), Foodshare (Bloomfield, CT), New Hampshire Food Bank (Manchester, NH), Food Bank of the Hudson Valley (Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY), Worcester County Food Bank (Shrewsbury, MA), Food Bank of Western Massachusetts (Hatfield, MA), Good Shepherd Food Bank (Auburn, ME), Vermont Foodbank (Barre, VT), Boston Medical Center Food Pantry (Boston, MA), Greater Boston Food Bank, Long Island Cares (Hauppauge, NY), NORWESCAP (Phillipsburg, NJ), Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties (Neptune City, NJ), and the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York (Latham, NY). This marks the single largest food assistance program of its kind in the Northeast.
On Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at 9:30 a.m., the first delivery of food will be kicked off with a convoy of 15-20 tractor trailer trucks loaded with approximately 700,000 lbs of nutritious, shelf-stable food, the first installment of nearly 3,270,000 total pounds delivered throughout the year. The public is invited to cheer on the convoy departing from Job Lot’s warehouse in North Kingstown led by a special escort of Rhode Island State Police, the South Kingstown High School marching band, a monster truck, and a Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) bus filled with food en route to the select Food Banks. A host of VIPs, including federal, state and local government dignitaries, as well as food bank executives from across the region, will attend.
For the third time in the 13-year history of Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation’s food insecurity program, private businesses are sponsoring Three Square Meals, including Kellogg’s, Centreville Bank, Bob’s Red Mill, Polar Beverages, Arbella Insurance, various Rotary and Lions Clubs in the region, and Atlas Pallet. Job Lot’s Charitable Foundation is also teaming up with the New England Patriots Alumni Club led by former 12-year Patriots offensive player Pete Brock to “tackle hunger.” Brock will be on-hand for the April 26th morning event, along with current Patriots cheerleaders and the “Pat Patriot” mascot. They will be joined by local minor league baseball mascot “Paws” from the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Funds for Three Square Meals are raised between November and December through a combination of in-store customer donations at the register, contributions from the business community, and matching funds from the Job Lot Charitable Foundation. Job Lot then leverages its wholesale buying power and retailing expertise to purchase food at significant value. It also donates the cost of operational support, including delivery, insurance, warehousing, fuel, labor and other expenses to ensure that 100% of every dollar raised goes to the plate to help families and individuals in need. Items to be distributed include shelf-stable food such as pasta, cereal, canned vegetables and fruit, soup, canned tuna, dried beans, rice, and more.
Ocean State Job Lot Co-Founder Alan Perlman recognizes the contributions and generosity of the company’s valued customers. “We hope that our Three Square Meals program and convoy kickoff will shed light on the issue of food insecurity that affects our region and our nation,” he states. “Together with our customers and charitable partners, such as the Patriots Alumni and URI’s SNAP-Ed program, we can help to alleviate the growing hunger epidemic that is facing communities where we have store locations throughout the Northeast. Seeing our Three Square Meals program grow and inspire others to step up to help is very rewarding.”
The public is invited to attend the 2016 Three Square Meals event being held in the Job Lot warehouse at 375 Commerce Park Road in North Kingstown on April 26, 2016 at 8:00 am, and to help cheer on the truck convoy as it departs at approximately 9:30 am for the Food Bank deliveries. There is no charge for this event. Guests are asked to use Job Lot Way (off Commerce Park Road) to access the warehouse parking lot, and to enter via Door #7.