Pictured left to right: Carmen Diaz-Jusino, Vice President, Community Development Officer, BankNewport and a member of the board of directors of the RI Community Food Bank; Andrew Schiff, CEO, RI Community Food Bank; Jack Murphy, President & CEO, BankNewport; Kathleen Charbonneau, Vice President, Director of Community Relations, BankNewport.
In 2022, Bank Newport philanthropic efforts resulted in over $1.7 million awarded to over 400 organizations and over 8,500 service hours performed by employees. The funding was inclusive of charitable grants and contributions, community event sponsorships, community contributions from local branches, and year-end proactive and holiday support to nonprofits that meet basic needs for the underserved throughout Rhode Island. The giving culminated with a $100,000 grant for the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.
According to the RI Community Food Bank’s 2022 Status Report on Hunger in Rhode Island, nearly one in three Rhode Island households can’t afford adequate food and the risk is especially high for low-income families with children and for communities of color. According to findings from the latest RI Life Index, conducted between April and June 2022, 31% of households were food insecure and unable to afford adequate food. By comparison, 9.1% of Rhode Island households were food insecure in the years 2017-2019.
Organizations in every county of Rhode Island benefitted from the giving effort, with areas of impact focused on basic human needs, children & families, education, economic security, healthy living, arts and culture and the environment. Over the past ten years, BankNewport has awarded nearly $8 million in grants, sponsorships, and donations to a wide range of nonprofits and community organizations to help strengthen and enrich lives and communities throughout the state.
Financial education and community involvement by Bank employees in 2022 totaled over 8,500 hours. Through BNWise, BankNewport’s financial education program, 1,250 students and community members were engaged in interactive financial education presentations on a variety of topics, from saving and budgeting to credit and entrepreneurship, which were made available in-person and virtually.
BankNewport also generated statewide awareness for organizations serving Rhode Island’s homeless population through the Kind Heart Fresh Start campaign, which collected hundreds of pieces of new bedding, including pillows, pillowcases, pillow protectors, twin and full-size sheet sets, and crib sheets, from its employees and members of the community, for agencies around the state.