Food Bank of Delaware receives BJ’s Charitable Foundation Grant to Provide Fresh Way to Fight Hunger

BJs donationThe Food Bank of Delaware today announced that they are one of 30 food banks awarded grants this September from BJ’s Charitable Foundation. The foundation is distributing grants in celebration of BJ’s Wholesale Club’s 30th anniversary. A member of the Feeding America network, the Food Bank of Delaware is among those awarded gifts to increase the food storage capacity for local anti-hunger organizations.

To commemorate the $21,000 donation from the BJ’s Charitable Foundation, the Food Bank of Delaware and representatives from the Elsmere BJ’s Club presented a brand-new refrigeration unit to the Cedars Church of Christ food closet this morning. In addition to presenting the refrigeration unit, volunteers from BJ’s distributed fresh foods to 20 families in need.

“We are thrilled to have been awarded one of the 30th anniversary grants by BJ’s Charitable Foundation,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “Because of this grant, we will be able to work with our local partners to help them obtain more healthful foods and ensure that food makes it into the hands of more Delawareans in need.”

The $21,000 donation will enable the Food Bank of Delaware to increase partner capacity for fresh foods. While food banks often have immense space and storage to provide product for the food pantries and shelters they support, these smaller partner organizations and charities often have limited equipment abilities. Limited equipment hinders their ability to serve the community.

“BJ’s Wholesale Club is proud to reach our 30-year milestone and share our enthusiasm by expanding our role in the fight against hunger,” said Charlie Tirney, general manager of the BJ’s Wholesale Club in Elsmere. “Supporting the Food Bank of Delaware and their local agencies’ need for capacity building will ensure that perishable food can reach the people who need it most in our own backyard.”

By providing anti-hunger partners like food pantries, shelters and meal programs with the necessary equipment, they can transport and store a larger amount of perishable items and thus distribute more food to local families struggling with food insecurity. The Food Bank of Delaware will provide a total of two glass door display refrigerators, four upright freezers, four chest freezers and 25 48-quart capacity coolers to partner agencies.

“The Cedars Church of Christ Food Pantry greatly appreciates the partnership we have with BJ’s Wholesale Club,” said Cedars Church of Christ Minister Brad Carman. “The donation of a new refrigeration unit is a great help in our efforts. BJ’s generosity in helping us feed the hungry with regular food donations and the gracious spirit with which they do it is wonderful. We at Cedars try to model that spirit as we pass it along to those in need food. These kindnesses are essential in our ongoing efforts to help.”

 

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School Breakfast Spotlight: Wilbur Elementary

This morning several of our staff members joined State Senator Nicole Poore and representatives from the Colonial School District to see firsthand their successful school breakfast program at Wilbur Elementary.

As students filtered off the busses, they headed straight to the cafeteria to grab a healthy breakfast. Students were greeted by smiling teachers, cafeteria personnel, Colonial School District Superintendent Dr. Dusty Blakey, Principal Beth Howell and others. As students lined up in the cafeteria, they chose from a variety of breakfast options – milk and juice, yogurt, bagels, fruit, cereal, banana bread and more! Kindergarten classrooms receive their breakfast in a basket. A student helper stops by the cafeteria and delivers the basket to the classroom.

Since all Wilbur students receive free breakfast and lunch meals as a result of the Community Eligibility Provision, no cash transactions took place; cafeteria workers simply tallied the number of meals served with a clicker. Plastic bags were available for students to carry their nutritious breakfasts back for consumption in the classroom.

The team at Wilbur Elementary showed us how easy implementation of an alternative breakfast model is with a dedicated team of teachers, cafeteria personnel, custodial staff and administrators! Kids were in and out of the cafeteria in no time.

Back in the classroom, while kids ate breakfast, teachers engaged students in instructional time. Kindergarten students ate quietly as they sat around a table, first graders ate breakfast while singing a song to help with a lesson and fourth graders began working on the day’s assignments as they enjoyed milk, cereal, fruit and bagels. Breakfast did not impede on the day’s plans, and all students started the day with a full belly ready to tackle the day’s assignments.

To help with cleanup, each classroom has a trash can for disposal. After breakfast, custodial staff travel the hallways to pick up the bags. Each can is replaced with a new bag, and the can becomes the classroom recycling bin. The staff at Wilbur showed that breakfast can be as easy as 1-2-3!

Colonial School Nutrition Supervisor Paula Angelucci says feeding kids is a priority in the Colonial School District. “It’s all about the kids,” she says. Paula credits the success of the breakfast program to a team of dedicated administrators. In order for breakfast to work, administrative buy-in is crucial, she explains.

To help increase statewide participation, we announced our first-ever School Breakfast Challenge last spring. The challenge is an opportunity for schools making major gains in breakfast participation to win cash awards for their performance.

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. The 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. Winners will be announced in early 2015.

To learn more about the School Breakfast Challenge, click here.

Is your school a school breakfast superstar? Let us know! We’d love to visit!

Check out more pictures from this morning’s visit!

 

 

 

 

 

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Food Bank partners with First State Community Action to bring food and education to residents

08_Pinetown02 By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

The damp, drizzly weather didn’t keep folks away from a Monday afternoon meeting at the Pinetown Civic Center near Lewes.

Residents of the Pinetown community welcomed friends from Coolspring and Coverdale to learn more about programs available through a partnership between First State Community Action Agency and the Food Bank of Delaware.

Many of those attending were senior citizens eager and interested in free programs that enhance their quality of life.

For example, Charlotte McGarry, programs director for the Food Bank of Delaware, encouraged seniors to register for our Senior Nutrition Program, or Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

Eligible seniors receive a box of shelf stable food, including juice, protein, cheese and milk each month.

“It’s great to use these items to supplement your pantry,” Charlotte said.

She also urged community leaders to consider other Food Bank programs that provide healthy snacks and meals for neighborhood children participating in after-school enrichment activities.

In addition, Charlotte said, Food Bank staff will assist eligible residents who want to file for SNAP benefits.

The highlight of the afternoon was a mobile pantry distribution in which those attending could select about 70 pounds of food for 0908 Pinetown01 (2)personal use.

Patricia Beebe, Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO, was on hand for the distribution.

“We are so pleased to be able to partner with First State Community Action. We share similar missions, and that is to eradicate hunger and poverty in Delaware. When we’re all focused on the same thing, I have no doubt we can achieve that goal,” she said.

Bernice Edwards, executive director at First State Community Action, echoed Pat’s sentiments.

“The partnership provides an opportunity to benefit us all. I call it the holistic approach,” she said.

Best of all, those attending the educational workshop were delighted to be a part of the mobile pantry.

Evelyn Wilson, a retiree from the Coverdale community, obviously enjoys cooking. She said she planned to incorporate some of the vegetables into soups and use the raisins in her box for bread pudding.

Joyce Gibbs, a Pinetown resident, was happy to stock up before she left for her job as a school bus monitor.

“It really helps out,” she said, noting that she especially appreciated the bread, cereal and juices.

Since hitting the road in March 2013, the mobile pantry has serviced 4,500 families throughout the state.

For more information about the Food Bank of Delaware, visit www.fbd.org.

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Capital One presents $50,000 to Food Bank of Delaware at 37th Culinary Class Graduation

DSC_0393webCapital One presented a generous $50,000 grant to the Food Bank of Delaware yesterday at the 37th graduating class of The Culinary School. Capital One’s funding will help support student scholarships for The Culinary School, the Mobile Pantry program and other Food Bank of Delaware hunger-relief programs.

Jim Kelly, Head of Direct Banking, Capital One, provided keynote remarks for the graduation ceremony.

Students have spent the past 14 weeks developing their passion for the culinary arts. From proper knife handling techniques to Serve Safe certification and completing an internship, the students are prepared for entry-level jobs in the food industry. Student internship sites included Desserts by Dana, Domaine Hudson, Two Stones Pub, Westin Hotel and more.

“The Culinary School is all about providing Delawareans with the skills they need in order to obtain jobs in the thriving restaurant industry. We can’t do what we do without the support of partners like Capital One,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “I am proud of the progress our graduates have made. They are not the same individuals they were 14 weeks ago. Each and every one of them has worked hard to get to today’s graduation. There were challenges, but they all made it.”

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.

Students are referred to the program through the Criminal Justice Council, Delaware Department of Labor, Delaware Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and other community-based organizations.

“This was one of the greatest experiences that I’ve ever been through,” said graduate Markevis Clark. “I would recommend this program to anyone looking for a positive change in their life.”

The graduates include:

  • Kasha Allen (Highest GPA award)
  • Tyrone Brooks (Perfect Attendance award)
  • Kawyne Carter
  • Markevis Clark
  • Dave Coverdale (Perfect Attendance award)
  • Kevin Deler
  • Glynise Dillard
  • Kendall Gibbs (Most Improved award)
  • Larry Kelley
  • Stanford Pierce
  • Rory Price (Best Attitude award)
  • Katrina Repetti

To learn more about The Culinary School, please visit http://www.fbd.org/the-culinary-school/.

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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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