$60,000 in matching grants offered to help the Food Bank and Trinity Rep continue recovering from pandemic
Funding will replace donations to the Food Bank that Trinity Rep traditionally has collected from audiences during live performances of “A Christmas Carol”
The Rhode Island Foundation announced that it will match every donation the public makes to Trinity Repertory Company during its 2022 run of “A Christmas Carol” with an equal grant to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, up to a total of $60,000.
The funding is intended to replace the donations for the Food Bank that the theater has traditionally collected from audiences. Until Trinity Rep went dark in 2020 due to COVID-19, the actor playing Ebenezer Scrooge had stepped forward at the end of every performance of “A Christmas Carol” and asked theater-goers to leave a donation for 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.
In the interest of public health and safety, the theater will not have collection buckets at this season’s performances. Instead, the public can trigger the matching grants by contributing to Trinity Rep online at trinityrep.com/match or by texting SCROOGE to 44-321. Through this matching challenge, their donations will benefit Trinity Rep’s artistic, education and community programs, as well as the Food Bank.
“The need remains high at food pantries and meal sites as people cope with the rising cost of everyday expenses and the ongoing economic effects of the pandemic. Arts organizations that rely on ticket sales are still struggling to recover from fall off at live performances. Our matching grant will enable people to feed hungry Rhode Islanders while still supporting the arts," said Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO.
The matching grant challenge benefits two nonprofits that have been deeply impacted by the pandemic. In the last six months, the Food Bank has seen an unprecedented 20% surge in people seeking assistance at food pantries across the state.
“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 brings to life the values of love, kindness and generosity that are embodied in the show for the benefit of two essential nonprofits in our community.”
Trinity Rep Artistic Director Curt Columbus said, “Trinity Rep has been fortunate to partner with the Rhode Island Community Food Bank since 2006, raising funds for our neighbors during the holiday season. This great collaboration has given our production of ‘A Christmas Carol’ a special kind of joy throughout the years, knowing that the story of Scrooge’s journey to generosity is reflected in the grace and kindness of our audiences. Now, for the last few seasons, we have been joined by the Rhode Island Foundation to support this important work in uncertain times. We are all extremely honored that this good work continues.”
About the Rhode Island Community Food Bank
The Rhode Island Community Food Bank distributes food to 63,000 struggling Rhode Islanders each month through a statewide network of 140 member agencies including food pantries, meal sites, shelters, youth programs and senior centers. Last year, the Food Bank distributed 15 million pounds of food, of which approximately 2.7 million pounds was fresh produce. The Food Bank is a member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. To learn more, visit rifoodbank.org.
Trinity Repertory Company
Rhode Island’s Tony Award-winning theater, Trinity Rep has created unparalleled professional theater for and with its community since its founding in 1963. Trinity Rep strives to facilitate human connection and has been a driving force behind the creativity that fuels and defines the region for more than 50 years.
Trinity Rep is committed to reinventing the public square and inspiring dialogue by creating emotionally-stimulating live productions that range from classical to contemporary and innovative education programs for all ages and abilities. Its annual production of “A Christmas Carol” has brought families together for more than four decades and made memories for over a million audience members. For more information, visit trinityrep.com.
Rhode Island Foundation
The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $98 million and awarded $76 million in grants last year. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit rifoundation.org.