By Kim Turner, Communications Director
On Monday Food Bank of Delaware staff members headed to the Delaware State Fair for the third annual Food Lion Feeds Hunger Relief Day! It’s one of my favorite days of the year at the Food Bank. Attendees who brought five Food Lion store brand cans received one free gate admission! As fairgoers filtered in from the parking lots, so many hands were filled with plastic bags loaded with canned goods!
One-by-one, volunteers from Food Lion and the Food Bank of Delaware, emptied bags of canned goods into large tote-sized boxes. By 11:00 a.m. we had already collected close to 2,000 pounds of food! The response from our community was truly amazing. We are happy to report that in just one day we collected 21,865 pounds – 933 pounds more than last year!
In addition to greeting fairgoers, we also had an opportunity to enjoy all that the fair has to offer! New this year, three Food Bank of Delaware staff members presented healthy cooking demonstrations throughout the day!
First up was Alina Wade, our Community Nutrition Educator. As Alina wired her lavalier microphone and organized her ingredients, a small crowd started to gather around the demonstration kitchen. At 11 a.m. it was show time! Alina demonstrated how easy it is to make healthy oatmeal blueberry pancakes. She combined bananas, oatmeal, egg whites, honey, cinnamon and blueberries in the blender. Once everything was blended, it was time to pour the batter out on the griddle. A few minutes later the pancakes were ready! The healthy pancakes received rave reviews from attendees!
While we waited for Tim Hunter, our Chef Instructor at The Culinary School at the Milford Branch, to demonstrate how to make a cool cucumber mango soup, we enjoyed a Kimo’s snow cone, Milford Branch Director Chad Robinson’s interview with television station WMDT 47 and more can collecting!
The clock hit 1:00 p.m. and we were ready for Chef Tim’s cooking demonstration. Tim peeled and cut fresh mangos, red onions and cucumbers. Showing off his skills, Chef Tim amazed the audience with his knife skills! After everything was chopped he used an immersion blender to incorporate all of the ingredients. Tim showed how easy it is to make healthy, homemade soups. In no time, the cucumber mango soup was ready for sampling!
While we waited for Community Nutrition Educator Asia Thurston’s 3:00 p.m. demonstration, how to make a “Delaware Summer Salad,” we dined at the Delaware Farm Bureau stand, had another snow cone :) and collected more cans! As the afternoon progressed, more attendees began to filter in with donations!
When 3:00 p.m. rolled around, we were ready for Asia’s demonstration. She made a beautful Delaware Summer Salad consisting of fresh, local kale, spinach, strawberries, clementine oranges, almonds, goat cheese, chicken and a homemade strawberry vinaigrette. Asia showed audience members how easy it is to eat fresh, healthy foods! In addition, she stressed that we should be eating the colors of the rainbow. She clarified that by rainbow she did not mean skittles! Eating healthy foods of all different colors enables our bodies to get the needed nutrients.
After Asia’s demonstration it was almost time to leave the fair. Before we left, Food Bank of Delaware Operations Director Trevor Turner, tried his luck at the fish bowl game. After throwing almost 20 ping-pong balls, Trevor landed one in a small fish bowl! He won a gold fish and named him Franklin Turner.
We had a great day at the State Fair; in addition to collecting much-needed food for residents of Kent and Sussex Counties, we also showed fairgoers that we do more than just collect food, we also empower Delawareans by providing important educational opportunities about healthy eating on a limited budget and workforce development through the culinary arts.
Check out some more pictures from our day at the Delaware State Fair!