R.I. Foundation issues ‘A Christmas Carol’ donation challenge

East Providence food pantries would be among those kept stocked during holidays

Posted 11/30/22

The Rhode Island Foundation 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 …

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R.I. Foundation issues ‘A Christmas Carol’ donation challenge

East Providence food pantries would be among those kept stocked during holidays

Posted

The Rhode Island Foundation 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 goal is to enable the Food Bank to keep its warehouse stocked for member agencies like the Good Neighbors Pantry and Meal Site on Turner Avenue, East Bay Community Action Program on Bullocks Point Avenue and the Bread of Life Food Pantry on Newman Avenue.

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.

“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.

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.

“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.”

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.

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.”

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.