Media release

Responding to the surging cost of basics

The nearly 50 percent boost in funding for two of the Foundation’s grant programs is helping nonprofits cope with rising costs of basic services for Rhode Islanders in need

The Rhode Island Foundation is responding to the surge in the cost of housing, food and other staples with a nearly 50 percent increase in funding for two programs that help nonprofits serve people in need.

"Even though economists say inflation is under 10 percent, anyone who has been to the grocery store or gas station knows that many prices are rising faster than that. The rapidly increasing cost of buying the basics affects nonprofits as well as the people they serve. This ensures that our nonprofit partners have additional resources to help keep people in the communities most impacted fed, healthy and housed," said Jenny Pereira, vice president of grants and community investments.

Under the Foundation’s Food and Housing Security Program, there are two pools of funds for agencies providing direct services to vulnerable Rhode Islanders: Grants up to $150,000 for agencies with a regional or statewide geographic reach and grants up to $50,000 for agencies serving a municipal or a smaller geographic area.

The deadline to apply for the next round of Food and Housing Security Program grants is Aug. 26. Eligible uses include operations as well as direct, basic needs assistance to agencies that prioritize service to children, the elderly or the homeless, particularly as they seek housing and food.

In addition, the Foundation has increased the maximum grant for its Basic Human Needs Grants program by 50 percent, to $7,500 this year. Basic Human Needs Grants support community agencies that provide emergency assistance to Rhode Islanders most in need. The assistance can include food, clothing, housing, prescriptions, utilities and transportation. Agencies may apply any time; applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Here is more information about applying for Food and Housing Security Program grants and Basic Human Needs Grants.

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 in 2021. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.