Chase presents $58,000 to Food Bank of Delaware in support of Culinary School

CheckChase presented a $58,000 donation to the Food Bank of Delaware yesterday at La Fia Bakery + Bistro + Market to help continue supporting The Culinary School, the Food Bank’s 14-week culinary employment training program.

The success of The Culinary School is dependent on both corporate and culinary partnerships. To highlight these partnerships, the check presentation was held at La Fia. Since opening its doors in the LOMA section of Wilmington in March, La Fia has played an active role in developing The Culinary School’s students. Most recently, Owner/Chef Brian Sikora hired Culinary School graduate Andrew Morley on a full-time basis.

“We are proud to support The Culinary School,” said Sikora. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know Andrew as an apprentice and now a full-time employee. Supporting our community is what we are all about at La Fia.”

“Small businesses are a key engine of job creation, and JPMorgan Chase helps connect small businesses – and local residents – with the resources they need to grow,” said Daryl Graham, Vice President, Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase. “We are proud partners to the Food Bank and First State Community Loan Fund because of their focus on growing our local economy and increasing job opportunities in the City of Wilmington.”

“We were happy to be able to offer a loan to La Fia, which provided some of their startup capital. They’ve been great borrowers,” said Vandell Hampton, President and CEO of First State Community Loan Fund. “Connecting with the Food Bank has been good for La Fia, as it has enabled them to identify top caliber employees as the business grows.”

Since its inception in 2002 The Culinary School has graduated close to 400 students. The mission of The Culinary School is two-fold. First, students are taught skills that are highly desirable to employers in the food industry. Second, these newly-developed skills have the potential to lead to jobs in the industry that provide job security and economic sustainability.

“We can always count on Chase to help ensure that Delawareans have the job skills training needed to find sustainable employment,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “Thanks to their support we will be able to provide 10 Delawareans with scholarships to attend our training program. Our graduate, Andrew, was recently hired full-time here at La Fia. He is a great example of the wonderful opportunities that exist through our program.”

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Starting the day off with school breakfast

Desk%20BreakfastBy Ashley Michini, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator

School’s back in session and the Food Bank of Delaware has a fun School Breakfast Quiz to help you learn some things you may not know about the USDA’s School Breakfast program.

True or False: School Breakfast through the USDA National School Lunch Program is intended only for children from low-income families

FALSE! School breakfast is for everyone! All students can benefit from a healthy start to their day. Delaware’s children need full stomachs in order to succeed. School breakfast programs greatly benefit students from all backgrounds and provide students the ability to start their days off right.

True or False: The best way to support your school district’s School Breakfast program is to make sure children participate in it

TRUE! It’s as easy as that, increased participation strengthens school breakfast programs. It provides increased funding to schools through reimbursements and keeps students satisfied, so they can focus on learning instead of longing for lunch.

Parents—encourage your children to eat breakfast at school. Teachers and School Personnel—Lead by example, and participate in School Breakfast yourself. Show students that eating a nutrient-rich breakfast at school is not only good for you, but a fun program that their school provides.

True or False: Breakfast improves students’ behavior in the classroom

TRUE! Not only does breakfast aid students’ physical health, it also provides behavioral wellness that makes for a more pleasant and productive classroom setting. The Share our Strength organization’s 2013 Teachers Report found that 88 percent of teachers agree that hungry kids cannot concentrate, 82 percent of teachers noted that students who don’t start their days with breakfast lack energy, and over two-thirds of teachers recognized that children who are hungry cause discipline problems in the classroom. School Breakfast is the answer—it widely increases students’ ability to concentrate and lowers the risk of emotional/behavioral complications in youth.

True or False: Eating breakfast at home is better than eating School Breakfast

FALSE! Expert nutritionists that work with the federal government have designed the School Breakfast served through the USDA’s National School Lunch Program so that it is a perfectly balanced, nutritious meal to encourage healthy physical development for students. Research compiled by the Food Research and Action Center shows that participation in the School Breakfast Program decreases obesity and high Body Mass Indices in adolescents, and at the same time, boosts kids’ daily nutrient intake.

Classroom%20Breakfast_0True or False: The only place students eat school breakfast is in the cafeteria.

FALSE! Many schools have found that it’s easier to get children to eat breakfast when they have more options than just traditional served meals in the cafeteria.

Picture the fast-paced start of the school day, kids getting off the bus and making their way through the crowded hallways to chat with friends before class, at the same time, teachers on duty do their best to make sure the students arrive to class before the bell. Blaring loudspeakers broadcast announcements of late busses, parents try to make their way to the main office to take care of looming administrative paperwork. With all of this movement, it’s often a challenge for students to have enough time to go through the cafeteria line, receive their breakfast, find a seat in the cafeteria and eat it before first period. This is where Alternative School Breakfast models come in. Here are three proven models that adapt to the start of the school day:

  • Breakfast in the Classroom
    • Breakfast in the Classroom skips students’ trek to the cafeteria all-together. Instead they head directly to their classes, and breakfasts are delivered directly to them. Having all students eat together with their peers greatly reduces the stigma associated with School Breakfast and makes it accessible to all children. Contrary to the belief that Breakfast in the Classroom actually provides more time for teachers’ lessons, since their pupils go directly to class and don’t dawdle in the halls. In Delaware, Seaford Middle School saw a 481 percent increase in participation in school breakfast by using Breakfast in the Classroom! An additional 600 children served each day.
  • Second Chance
    • Sometimes students aren’t hungry when they arrive at school in the early morning. The Second Chance program gives an option of either having traditional breakfast in the morning, or taking an on-the-go breakfast to eat between first and second period or during a designated nutrition break.
  • Grab and Go Breakfast
    • The Grab and Go format allows students to choose the breakfast items they like best from either the cafeteria or a food cart stationed in the hallway, and then bring it to their class to consume during the morning announcements.

Want to do more to help students achieve? Get your school to participate in the Food Bank of Delaware’s first-ever School Breakfast Challenge- an exciting opportunity for schools making major gains in breakfast participation to win cash awards for their performance!

To help increase participation in the school breakfast program, we issued a challenge last spring at our second annual Ending Hunger Conference. Thanks to a partnership between the Food Bank of Delaware and the Delaware Department of Education, ten awards ranging from $3,000 to $500 will be made available to eight district schools and two charter or nonpublic schools. Cash grants will be awarded to the school with the highest breakfast participation in October 2014 and the most-improved breakfast participation from October 2013 to October 2014. More information can be found here http://www.fbd.org/school-breakfast-challenge/.

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My Summer at the Food Bank of Delaware

By Gabrielle Gilliam-Harris, Service Learning Scholar

You know the feeling you have as a freshman in college on your first day of classes? You leave for your first class and you find yourself desperately trying to recall everything from your campus tour. Thank goodness for your amazing RA who sees you struggling and comes to bring you a map and help you navigate this new experience. On my first day interning at the Food Bank of Delaware I learned that feeling was not an isolated incident, but something I was currently revisiting, and would be faced with many times in life. Thank goodness for my supervisor, Matt Talley (Talley) providing such awesome guidance and support.

My name is Gabrielle Gilliam-Harris and this summer I was a Service-Learning Scholar at the Food Bank of Delaware. My task this summer was to create a SNAP Helpline for the SNAP Outreach Program. I expected to come in and essentially be told what to do, but that is not what happened. Talley simply sat down with me and we talked about why the helpline was so important and specific goals that he needed the helpline to accomplish. I was treated like a team member rather than an assistant, which I really appreciated. Talley gave me a lot of creative freedom, which scared me at first. However, I see now, it was a mix of that very freedom and the events that we went to that taught me the richest lessons this summer.

Going to outreach events at several locations showed me the variety of services and outreach approaches that exist. No two experiences were the same, and we had to adapt and determine the best style of outreach for each one. In addition, interacting with people and watching the way Talley interacted with people taught me a lot about the nature of outreach and food insecurity as well. Listening to each person’s personal situation and talking to Talley about his experiences taught me what kinds of questions we might encounter on the helpline. These experiences, along with Talley’s guidance gave me the tools I needed to create a SNAP Helpline that would best cater to the callers. I learned the best way to help people is to truly understand where they are coming from and what they want to get out of the helpline.

Having more control over the project gave me the opportunities to learn what worked and what did not. This enabled me to learn a lot more from my experience than if I had simply been given orders. In addition, it built my problem solving skills and gave me confidence in my own abilities to tackle other projects in the future. My experience at the Food Bank of Delaware not only enhanced my life as a student, but as a professional and as a part of my community. I have already seen myself applying my new knowledge and skills to other parts of my life and I cannot wait to use the lessons I learned in class this coming semester.

I’d like to thank Talley and the rest of the staff at the Food Bank of Delaware for continuously supporting me this summer! Thank you for an amazing experience!

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Culinary Student Spotlight: Kevin Deler

Kevin TCS Class 37When Kevin Deler was a high school student at Mt. Pleasant High School, he visited The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware as part of a career exploration field trip.  His visit sparked his interest in the culinary arts. Since graduating high school in 2007, Kevin has worked in both the construction and dining services field.

After being laid off from his seasonal job in a dining hall this spring, Kevin was ready to expand his knowledge in the culinary field. He was accepted as a student at The Culinary School with full funding.

With aspirations of becoming a restaurant chef, Kevin is taking advantage of every opportunity he can through The Culinary School.

“Chef Nicole [Wilson] is a good instructor,” he says. “She has taught me a lot. A lot of terms that I needed to know out in the working world.”

Kevin and his classmates are getting an early start in a real working kitchen with their Monday internship experience. Every Monday, students spend the day in the kitchen of a local restaurant or food service provider. Kevin was lucky to land an internship at the new Westin Hotel in Wilmington.

Since starting his internship at the Wilmington Riverfront’s first and only hotel, Kevin has applied his classroom experience to a working kitchen. Techniques he learned in class, like mire poix and braising, are helping him in the Westin’s kitchen.

“At the Westin I have been prepping and working closely with Chef Chris,” Kevin explains. “He has been teaching me a lot.”

In addition to general prep work, Kevin is also assisting with banquet meals.  Once his 12 weeks of instruction at the Food Bank are complete, Kevin will intern at the Westin for a full two weeks. He and his classmates will graduate on Tuesday, September 9.

Kevin’s favorite dishes to prepare are steak and ribs and says the most valuable skills he has learned so far are knife skills and cooking techniques.

“The Culinary School has done a lot for me,” he says. “I am learning a lot. I am on the right track in terms of getting my goals together for my career. I want to become a chef, and I am taking the steps to do that.”

To learn more about The Culinary School, including information about becoming a student and supporting the program as an internship or employment site, please visit http://www.fbd.org/the-culinary-school/.

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Lana the Iguana hits the road this summer teaching healthy eating

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

We all know that kids learn through play, so what better way to reinforce healthy food choices than through some fun and games?

That’s where Lana comes in.

Lana the Iguana, perceived as a puppet by grownups, visits pre-schoolers in child care settings to talk about eating fruits and vegetables every day. Lana, of course, is accompanied by her own adult, one of the members of the Food Bank of Delaware’s SNAP-education team, when she goes on the road.

On Thursday morning, Lana and Laura, a Summer Nutrition Educator working out of the Milford branch, crossed a busy Airport Road to visit pre-schoolers at the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club.

These boys and girls loved Lana and had no clue that her name was an acronym for Learning About Nutrition through Activities. They didn’t care because Lana and Miss Laura made the half-hour activity playful and interactive.

Kids learned about planting seeds, watering gardens and harvesting carrots. They talked about which vegetables they liked and which ones they didn’t care for.

The message was visual, interactive and inclusive, so that at the end of the program, each child got to take home a booklet and then had an opportunity to give Lana a hug before she left for another gig.

To schedule this program, and other age-appropriate SNAP classes, contact Leah Brown at lbrown@fbd.org or (302) 292-1305, ext. 210 in New Castle County or Asia Thurston at (302) 393-2013 or athurston@fbd.org in Kent and Sussex Counties.

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Food Bank of Delaware and University of Delaware to host sixth annual Evening in the Garden

The Food Bank of Delaware and University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) will work together to raise money to alleviate hunger in the First State with their sixth annual Evening in the Garden event on Thursday, September 4 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The evening’s menu includes garden-fresh foods straight from the university’s Garden for the Community. Students and chefs from The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware will serve peppers stuffed with shrimp, grilled corn and quinoa, braised chicken with tomatoes and peppers, eggplant stuffed with Italian cheeses and more in a food station set-up. The UDairy Creamery will scoop ice cream.

The evening will also feature wine and beer tastings, live entertainment from The Ellen Lebowitz Quartet, a four-piece Jazz group with piano, drums, bass and voice and tours of the Garden of the Community.

“Our annual Evening in the Garden event is a great opportunity for us to showcase the skills of our talented students from The Culinary School,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “Workforce development is important to us at the food bank, and this annual event gives students real-world experience working a catered fundraising event.”

Tickets for the event are $40/person or $20/student (must show student ID). The price includes dinner, wine, beer and entertainment. Attendees must RSVP by August 25. If tickets are available after the RSVP deadline, price increases by $10.

To purchase tickets, please contact Kim Turner at (302) 444-8074 or kturner@fbd.org. Online registration is also available at http://www.fbd.org/an-evening-in-the-garden/. Attendees are also asked to bring a bag of canned goods for the food bank’s hunger-relief efforts.

To learn more about the Garden for the Community, please visit http://ag.udel.edu/communitygarden/.

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Second Annual Taste of Rehoboth

Food Bank of Delaware Chef Instructor Nicole Wilson enjoyed last year’s Taste of Rehoboth with students from The Culinary School in Newark. This year students from the Milford Branch will be in attendance to distribute gourmet food samples and interact with chefs!

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

It’s no secret: Rehoboth Beach is a dining destination.

The 2nd Annual Taste of Rehoboth will be held from 5-8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 21 at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center.

Last year’s inaugural Taste was a sell-out success and raised more than $11,000 for the Food Bank of Delaware.

More than 600 ticket-holders crowded into the center to enjoy live cooking and food samples from Rehoboth’s best gourmet restaurants and chefs. Samples are paired with Dogfish Head beer and fine wines.

The event was the initiative of the Rehoboth Inspired Chefs Initiative, a group of local chefs and restaurant professionals from Rehoboth, in partnership with Milton’s Dogfish Head Brewery.

Just like last year,the evening will include live music, as well as silent and live auctions.
Needless to say, guests enjoyed the fare, the camaraderie and the opportunity to help fund The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware.

The Food Bank of Delaware operates two culinary schools, one in Milford and the other in Newark, providing a training program to place graduates in the local hospitality industry.

Advance tickets are $50; $60 at the door. Tickets may be purchased at: aMuse, Eden, Espuma, Hobo’s, Rehoboth Beach Main Street and Azura.

Taste of Rehoboth will also serve as a food drive; the public is encouraged to bring canned goods to donate directly to the Food Bank

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