Nov 29, 2018

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island’s Gobble Games 2018 nets 16,000 food items for Rhode Island Community Food Bank

PROVIDENCE, RI –Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) collected more than 16,000 food items during Gobble Games 2018, an annual charitable giving initiative to benefit the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

During the month of November BCBSRI employees squared off against their colleagues in a friendly challenge to see who could collect the most food items. Teams collected their assigned Thanksgiving dinner themed foods, such as green beans, corn and stuffing, which totaled more than 11,000 pounds of food. Those items were then donated to the Food Bank along with a $10,000 donation from BCBSRI.

“Our sixth annual Gobble Games has come to a close, and once again our associates stepped up to make a difference for Rhode Islanders in need and they exemplify the community involvement that is so deeply embedded in our culture at BCBSRI,” said Carolyn Belisle, managing director of community relations for BCBSRI. “This great tradition serves as a reminder for us that food insecurity in Rhode Island is year-round, and a lot of the food we have collected will help families beyond the short Thanksgiving season."

BCBSRI started the Gobble Games in 2013 as a way to engage and activate employees around the issue of hunger in Rhode Island. Food insecurity affects one in eight Rhode Island households, as reported in the recently released “2018 Status Report on Hunger.”  Rhode Island has the highest rate of poverty in New England at 12.8 percent with 130,000 people living in households below the poverty line.

Last year, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank distributed 10.6 million pounds of food - more than 200,000 pounds per week - with approximately 7 percent of that total procured via food drives, like the Gobble Games. Over the past six years, BCBSRI has donated nearly 30 tons of food and contributed $55,000 in corporate donations to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

“We’re so thankful to our friends at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island for hosting their Gobble Games food drive once again this year,” said Andrew Schiff, CEO of the Rhode Island Community Food Bank. “The healthy, core food that their employees collected and donated will be distributed to neighbors in need around the state through our network of member agencies.”

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