Free or reduced breakfast at schools across Rhode Island has shown multiple benefits for public school students. At Roger Williams University in Bristol, faculty and students talk about the benefits of kids getting a healthy breakfast before class.
BRISTOL R.I.__ In an effort to help make healthy, local food more accessible, the weekly farmers market at Mount Hope Farm in Bristol has expanded to accept Rhode Island’s SNAP food stamp program.
While most Rhode Island businesses that accept SNAP are pharmacies, fast food chains and various other cheap alternatives to food, farmers markets such as the Mount Hope one now give those in need a healthier and local option to stock the shelves of their pantry.
The Wellness on Welfare team will be traveling to the Saturday farmers market in Bristol to talk to vendors at Mount Hope Farmers Market. How many patrons use SNAP to purchase their groceries at the farmers market, or are not enough people aware that you can use SNAP to purchase goods from local farms?
NEWPORT R.I.__ The Salvation Army is more than just a thrift shop, to some its their best chance at a meal or stocking their kitchen. However, some believe that the food options are not beneficial to those that frequent the Newport food pantry.
NEWPORT R.I.__ Many Rhode Island schools offer a free or reduced breakfast to students that are financially limited at home. In Newport, one in 10 households are under the poverty line, meaning many children growing up are at risk of not getting enough food outside of school lunches.
As the only elementary school in Newport, Claiborne Pell Elementary offers free or reduced breakfast to those in need of their 890 students.
Newport Rhode Island brings about thoughts of yacht clubs and mansions just at its mentioning, but Newport is also home to the most Section 8 Housing in the state. The ironic contrast of it all is that the largest conglomerate of public housing is simply a few blocks from the Cliff Walk, a popular tourist attraction.
The Cliff Walk is a path that overlooks Easton Beach and is lined with mansions, eventually leading to the campus of Salve Regina University, which is made up of many converted mansions itself. But by traveling down Route 138 a simply three blocks from the start of the Cliff Walk, one can find public housing and Newport’s Salvation Army which helps feed them.
Speaking at a science panel at Roger Williams University, Max Green, a staff attorney for the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), brought up concerns that his colleagues have over Gina Raimondo’s proposed “Green Bank.”
The panel was hosted by Hawk the Vote, an award-winning, student-run media lab focused on engaging the newest generation of voters in the electoral process. The panel of four was intended to inform students on campus of scientific controversies in the upcoming 2014 elections, specifically Rhode Island’s gubernatorial race.
“[Raimondo] has made aggressive statements without a ton of content,” Greene said.
The Green Bank is a fund proposed by Raimondo for sustainability initiatives, but the candidate has yet to make clear what exactly kind of ventures the money would go towards.
“The boundaries are kind of nebulous,” Greene said. “We’re not sure what exactly Raimondo has planned for it yet. But it’s not even the real problem at the campaign stage, provided that Raimondo would engage with the environmental community in determining her priorities for projects that would be funded by the Green Bank.”
The main concern raised by the environmentalist community, according to Greene, is where the money is coming from. Raimondo plans to fund the bank from money that is “earmarked from selling renewable energy credits,” according to Greene. Much of what Raimondo plans to use to fund her proposed Green Bank would be funds already set aside for sustainability ventures that are already planned, for a fund without a clear goal.
“The Green Bank itself is actually a great idea,” Greene said. “The funding is the real sticking point, but it’s an area where I’ve heard from others that there’s a sense she’s willing to engage and explore other potential sources of funding.”