Notes from the Field


RI Hunger Elimination Task Force Q1 Meeting Summary

The first Hunger Elimination Task Force (HETF) Meeting of 2023 was attended by over 62 participants. Randi Belhumeur from the RI Dept. of Health (RIDOH) welcomed everyone and provided an update on RIDOH’s application to the CDC’s State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) Cooperative Agreement. Our state’s Director of Food Strategy, Juli Stelmaszyk shared that our statewide food strategy, Relish Rhody, will be updated this year and invited everyone to participate in the process. A panel discussion followed, and focused on accessible solutions to solving last mile food delivery for transit challenged Rhode Islanders. Featured speakers included: Cartwheel RI, Family Service of RI’s Be Safe RI program, and Project Dash. All participants went into breakout rooms where they discussed how a lack of awareness about these services and stable funding is a barrier, and that ideal delivery solutions seemed to be those that formed via partnerships between organizations and those that are customized to serve the needs of specific populations (e.g. delivering prepared meals to older Rhode Islanders is different than getting groceries to a single parent who wants to pay with SNAP funds).