Grant aims to keep local food pantries and soup kitchens stocked

The Rhode Island Foundation is partnering with Trinity Rep and the Rhode Island Community Food Bank to inspire a spirit of giving going into the holiday season. The Foundation will match every donation the public makes to the theater during its 2023 run of “A Christmas Carol” with an equal grant to the Food Bank, up to a total of $60,000.

The goal is to help the Food Bank to keep its warehouse stocked for member agencies like the Community Baptist Church Meal Site, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center Meal Site, the Salvation Army Newport Corps’ Food Pantry and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry in Newport, the St. Peter by the Sea Community Market Food Pantry in Narragansett, the North Kingstown Food Pantry, the Jonnycake Center for Hope and the New Life Assembly of God Food Pantry in South Kingstown and the East Bay Community Action Program Food Pantry in Tiverton.

“Nothing could be more appropriate at this time of the year than to kindle the giving spirit that glows in this timeless story and in the hearts of Rhode Islanders. Inspiring neighbors to help neighbors in need is the true core of our philanthropic work,” said David N. Cicilline, the Foundation’s president and CEO.

The public can trigger the matching grants by contributing to Trinity Rep online at or by texting SCROOGE to 44-321. Through this philanthropic challenge, their donations will not only benefit Trinity Rep’s artistic, education and community programs, but also food insecure Rhode Islanders who turn to the Food Bank’s network of neighborhood food pantries and meal sites for help.

“Trinity Rep has been fortunate to partner with the Rhode Island Community Food Bank for years, raising funds for our neighbors during the holiday season. This collaboration with the Rhode Island Foundation gives our production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ a special kind of joy, knowing that the story of Scrooge’s journey to joyous generosity will be multiplied many times over as people rise to the occasion,” said Trinity Rep Artistic Director Curt Columbus. “We are all honored that this good work continues, and grateful to the Rhode Island Foundation for encouraging people to support work that feeds our souls and our neighbors in need.”

The matching grant challenge comes at a time when a growing number of Rhode Islanders are facing food insecurity due to the high cost of food, housing, utilities and transportation. In the last six months, the Food Bank’s network of 143 member agencies has been serving more than 80,000 people every month, a 25% increase over last year.

“We are so grateful that the Rhode Island Foundation will once again match gifts to Trinity Rep with donations to the Food Bank during this year’s run of ‘A Christmas Carol,’” said Food Bank CEO Andrew Schiff. “This partnership between these essential nonprofits brings to life the values of kindness and generosity that are embodied in the show for the benefit of those in need in our community.”

The partnership with the Rhode Island Foundation first launched in 2020, when Trinity Rep went dark due to COVID-19. Until then, the actor playing Ebenezer Scrooge had stepped forward at the end of every performance of “A Christmas Carol” and asked theater-goers to donate to the Food Bank. Audiences would then drop their contributions in collection buckets on their way out of the theater. In 2019 alone, the tradition raised more than $60,000 from theater-goers.




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