Volunteers needed at the Food Bank of Delaware’s Milford Branch

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A volunteer helps out in the Milford kitchen with the After-School Nutrition Program for children

We are in need of volunteers at our Milford Branch to help pack and sort food, prepare meals and assist with administrative duties.

Volunteers are needed on most weekdays from Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Occasional weekend and weeknight hours are also available.

“Since one in five children in Delaware live in poverty, when you volunteer at the Food Bank of Delaware you are truly making a local impact,” said Milford Branch Director Chad Robinson. “Volunteers help make bags for our Backpack Program knowing that a child will be able to eat over the weekend. Making a senior meal box means that local senior citizens can breathe a little easier because they have food to eat. It is quite eye opening to realize the prevalence of people in need in our own community.”

Volunteers can sign up as individuals or groups. Volunteering is a great team-building activity for local businesses, nonprofits, school groups, faith-based organizations and others. Helping at the Food Bank is also a perfect opportunity for youngsters to experience the benefits of community service. Children as young as seven years old can help; those ages seven-15 will need an adult chaperone.

Volunteers must wear sneakers or closed-toe, sturdy shoes. Some volunteer jobs require the ability to lift 50-pound boxes, though not all jobs require lifting. A minimum or regular commitment is not required, and volunteers can help according to their own time schedule.

Volunteers may view available opportunities and sign up online by visiting www.fbd.volunteerhub.com. Groups of five or more should call or e-mail Lyndsay Humphreys, Volunteer Coordinator, at (302) 393-2011 or lhumphreys@fbd.org to arrange a volunteer time.

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Food Bank of Delaware receives $29,000 from the Potter Trust at the CenDel Foundation

0921_CenDel_ checkThe Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware’s Milford branch was the recipient of a generous donation of $29,000 from the Potter Trust from the CenDel Foundation.

The check was presented by Donna D. Stone, Delaware Community Foundation senior vice president for Central Delaware, to Patricia Beebe, Food Bank of Delaware CEO, Chef Instructor Tim Hunter, Culinary Program Training Manager Brenda Palomo and students from the fourth culinary class at the Milford Branch.

“When the Food Bank applied for funding for sending individuals, many of whom may have been incarcerated or on the edges of survival, to their Culinary School training program we thought this was a good fit,” said Kathleen Hawkins, president of CenDel’s Potter Trust grant committee. “The program gives individuals the opportunity to learn a trade and to be able to support themselves,” she said.

The Potter Trust was established by Col. Benjamin Potter, through his will in 1843, when he evidenced great concern for children who were orphaned, for young men that they develop a trade to support themselves, and for families who were on the verge of being sent to the “poorhouse.”

The mission of The Culinary School is two-fold. First students are taught skills that are highly desirable to employers in the food industry and second, these newly-developed skills have the potential to lead to jobs in the industry that provide job security and economic sustainability.

Under the instruction of Food Bank of Delaware Chef Instructor Tim Hunter students spend 14 weeks developing their skills and passion for the culinary arts. From proper knife handling techniques to Serve Safe certification and completing a two-week internship, the training program prepares students for entry-level jobs in the food industry.

To learn more about The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware, visit http://www.fbd.org/the-culinary-school/.

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Food Bank of Delaware’s Oktoberfest Blue Jean Ball to be held October 11

006We will host our annual signature event, the Blue Jean Ball, on Saturday, October 11 from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. in its Newark warehouse at 14 Garfield Way in the Delaware Industrial Park.

This year’s theme is Oktoberfest, and Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant will work alongside students from The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware to prepare the event’s menu. Governor Jack Markell and First Lady Carla Markell will serve as honorary co-chairs for the evening.

Guests can leave their black tie gala attire at home for this annual event. Blue Jean Ball attendees are asked to don their favorite blue jeans. Tickets are just $65/person and include unlimited beer from Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant, wines, a German small plate menu, entertainment from Mike Hines and The Look and a mobile auction.

Food stations will be set up throughout the warehouse, and guests can expect to see traditional German fare. Iron Hill’s team of chefs will assist students from The Culinary School with kitchen prep and cooking, organizing food stations and executing plate presentation on the night of the event.

“Partnering with Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant is a real treat, not only for our culinary students who get to work alongside their chefs, but for our event attendees who have the opportunity to enjoy both their brews and fine seasonal foods,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “We are looking forward to another fun evening of raising money to help alleviate hunger in Delaware.”

The Blue Jean Ball is held each year to raise awareness of the acute problem of hunger in Delaware and the important role the food bank plays in combating hunger, as well as its root cause – poverty.

Live entertainment will be provided by dance party band, Mike Hines and The Look. Guests will also have an opportunity to bid on a wide selection of items straight from their own cell phones or tablets through the mobile auction.

By utilizing the warehouse space and the culinary skills of students and its staff of chefs, the food bank is able to significantly reduce costs. Last year, close to 90 percent of event proceeds went directly back to the organization’s hunger-relief efforts.

Tickets are available for $65/person and may be purchased by calling (302) 444-8074 or by visiting www.fbdbluejeanball.org.

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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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