Category Archives: Hunger-Relief Partners

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation donates $30,000 towards Food Bank of Delaware “Thanksgiving for All” food distribution

Check presentationThanks to a $30,000 donation from Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, 1,000 families in Kent and Sussex Counties will have a hot Thanksgiving meal.

More than 200 families received a holiday meal box – containing a frozen turkey, all of the trimmings and a roasting pan — at a distribution at St. Bernadette’s Church in Harrington on Monday.  Another 325 families were served outside Chesapeake Utilities’ Dover office on South Queen Street on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, 300-plus families were served at Long Neck United Methodist Church in Millsboro. The remaining boxes will be distributed at a mobile pantry in Dover early next week.

Approximately 165 Chesapeake volunteers spent three days packaging holiday meals last week and three days assisting the Food Bank of Delaware with this week’s holiday distribution. In both rain and frigid temperatures, committed volunteers loaded grocery carts with holiday boxes and turkeys and helped recipients load their cars.

“We are pleased to partner with the Food Bank of Delaware to give back to our community by providing Thanksgiving meals for 1,000 local families,” said Michael P. McMasters, President and Chief Executive Officer of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation. “This is just one way that we connect with our communities and it is something that our teams look forward to all year long.”

Chad Robinson, the Food Bank of Delaware’s Milford branch director, expressed gratitude for Chesapeake Utilities Corporation’s ongoing generosity. “Thanks to this generous donation from Chesapeake Utilities, we can meet the needs of 1,000 families, our neighbors, throughout downstate Delaware. The kindness and community spirit shown by Chesapeake’s workplace team is proof of their dedication to help the communities in which they live and work,” he said.

One recipient who wished to remain anonymous said, “This is such a blessing. Your staff, volunteers and donors have given us this wonderful box of food. It was cold and windy, but everyone pushed on. From my family and myself, thank you and have a blessed Thanksgiving.”

In addition to the holiday food distribution, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is also making funding available to ensure that the elderly, ill and those facing financial hardship are not forgotten during the cold winter months when energy bills are at their peak. Grants are available to income-eligible customers of Chesapeake Utilities and Sharp Energy with additional amounts available for those over the age of 60. Also, the SHARING program has additional grants for appliance purchases or repair; the recently unemployed; and customers who are in need due to serious illness or family tragedy. Learn more about SHARING at www.chpk.com/sharing.

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Partner Spotlight: Milford pantry relies on community support

1110_milford_food_pantry01 (2)By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

Any way you do the math, the Milford Community Pantry is a busy place.

This pantry is one of 550 agencies certified as a Food Bank of Delaware hunger-relief program partner.

Started by the late Henry Cowgill more than 25 years ago, the pantry serves 80-100 families each month out of a converted classroom in the Avenue United Methodist Church.

Tita Lewis, the pantry’s director, and a volunteer for more than a decade, says that there are some misconceptions about the pantry because it’s located in the church. Some people, she said, believe the pantry is part of Avenue’s ministry.

Actually, the Milford Community Pantry, a separate not-for-profit agency, also partners with the Milford Lions Club.

“It’s the Milford pantry, the community’s pantry, and we get donations and volunteers from other churches,” she said.

“There are a couple small churches with a good hearts. This is a very giving community.”

Tita said she first got involved through the urging of a friend at a Bible study meeting.

“I wanted to say no, but given the setting, and we were talking about focusing on our spirit and God, so I said I will try,” she said.

“It’s been very, very rewarding for me. I always say I see God at work here all the time.”

The pantry relies on loyal volunteers to serve 15-20 families each week. Many ask for assistance because of economic hardships brought on by cold weather.

“We have families who come maybe three times a year. They just live so close to their budget that when the car needs to be fixed or they have to buy heating oil, it’s tough,” Tita said.

Diane Dolan, a retired teacher and active volunteer, explains that all clients need a referral, whether it’s from a pastor or state agency.

In addition to providing food, the Milford Community Pantry also offers toiletries, dish detergent and toilet paper. Clients also get a voucher from Redner’s for bread, milk, eggs and butter.

One of the greatest needs now is bars of soap. The pantry can always use peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, pasta and boxed macaroni of cheese.

“We have the best volunteers in the world. People who volunteer here say they enjoy it. They can see that they are helping people,” said Tita.

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Harry K. Foundation, Food Bank of Delaware mark grand opening of Indian River School District school pantry at G.W. Carver Educational Center

Harry KThanks to a generous donation from the Harry K. Foundation, anti-hunger advocates officially cut the ribbon on the new school pantry at the G.W. Carver Educational Center this morning.

Funds were raised at last year’s Harry K. Christmas Ball. Support from the Harry K Foundation allowed the food bank to provide 103 children from Sussex County with a backpack full of food for the entire school year and to open nine new school pantries in Sussex County schools, including the one at G.W. Carver.

Through the program, at-risk families with students enrolled in the Indian River School District will be able to access emergency food and hygiene products by visiting the food pantry. The new pantry will offer a variety of nutritious food products and hygiene items. Families will select food based on their household’s needs each week. Food for the pantry will be provided by the Food Bank of Delaware and school-wide food drives or community donations.

“Hunger is all around us and it is our civic responsibility to feed our people,” said Harry K. Foundation Founder Harry Keswani. “We are happy to work in cooperation with the Food Bank of Delaware and our local schools to feed our children and their families. We ask our local people and business owners to join us by donating to the Harry K. Foundation so that we can bring food pantries to more schools.”

“According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap study, 18.3 percent of Delaware’s children live in food insecure households,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “We are thankful for the Harry K Foundation’s support to ensure that families in Sussex County have access to nutritious foods for their household.”

Child food insecurity is highest in Sussex County with 20.2 percent of children living in food insecure households.

“I am so happy that we have been able to open this and other pantries in our communities, but our task has only just begun,” said Harry K Foundation Spokesman Tim Buckmaster. “No child should go to bed hungry or worry about when the next meal may be. Together we can and will make a difference.”

“When our students’ basic needs of food, clothing and shelter are not being met, it is very difficult for them to excel at school and for their families to support their education at home,” said Indian River School District Superintendent Susan Bunting. Our district parent center was created to provide families with the tools they need to support student achievement – both academically and personally. The food pantry will be a great extension of these efforts and an important resource for our district families.”

The second annual Harry K Foundation Christmas Ball will be held on Saturday, December 6 at the Rehoboth Beach Country Club. Tickets are $250/person and can be purchased by visiting http://www.harrykfoundation.org/Harry-K-Foundation-Ball.html. Proceeds will help fight childhood hunger in Sussex County.

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Partner Spotlight: ERC Resource House

The Edgemoor Revitalization Cooperative Resource House is tucked away in the Edgemoor Gardens neighborhood just north of the city of Wilmington. With a neighborhood of close to 2,000 residents, the ERC Resource House provides empowerment opportunities for residents.

Under the leadership of Cheri Whitney, Edgemoor Gardens became one of ten Blueprint Communities in Delaware focused on improved sustainability and quality of life for families. The Blueprint program in Delaware is a partnership between the Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh and the University of Delaware Center for Community Research. The program provides intensive training, technical assistance, coaching as well as initial seed funding to competitively selected neighborhoods throughout the state to help them formulate plans to revitalize their communities.

Through the Resource House, families have access a number of resources to help lift them out of poverty. Whitney says the goal of the Resource House is to create a family environment.

“We have a core group of 40-50 residents who are ready to take the community to the next level of comfort,” she says. “We want to make this a community of choice where people want to live here.”

Over the summer, the Food Bank of Delaware provided free meals to children in Edgemoor Gardens through the Summer Food Service Program and weekend meals through the Summer Backpack Program. Each day 50 children visited the Resource House for a nutritious lunch.

“If it wasn’t for Cheri, half the kids in the neighborhood would not have meals,” said one parent during lunchtime.

In addition to distributing free meals all summer long, ERC also distributed backpacks just before the start of school thanks to the generosity of the Wilmington Flower Market.

Programming at the ERC Resource House is yearlong. Whitney and her team are proud to host an after-school teen program, funded by the Delaware Department of Education. Participants attend the program Monday-Thursday and take field trips to colleges and hold career days and more.

Gardens also play an important role in creating a healthier, happier and greener community. Gardens are spread throughout the community educating community members about healthy eating and beautifying the community.

Check out some more pictures from our visit to ERC!

 

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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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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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Partner Spotlight: Hanover Presbyterian Church

It takes a large network of partners to meet the emergency food needs of Delawareans. In recent years, the Food Bank of Delaware has encouraged hunger-relief partners to set up a client-choice pantry that allows families to choose the best foods for their households.

On a recent visit to Hanover Presbyterian Church, we were greeted by a dedicated team of volunteers. Pantry Coordinator, Becky, has been volunteering at the food closet for 10 years, while Ruth, who works the pantry window, has been lending a hand for 20 years! Both women work hard to make sure the community’s needs are met. In addition to hosting the pantry every Thursday, the church also opens a clothing closet to the community every Wednesday.

As families enter the church’s community hall, they sign in. A free hot breakfast with coffee is available to those who arrive early. One by one, households are called up to the pantry window where they choose from a variety of basic household staples.

Ruth staffs the window greeting each visitor with a smile. She asks families to pick the foods they need.  “You can choose from frozen chicken, beef or pork,” she says. “Next choose a few vegetables, a cereal and protein. You can choose either peanut butter or beans.”

After visiting the window, families receive fresh produce. An assortment of fruit was distributed by volunteer Milton. Herbert “the vegetable man” has been volunteering with Hanover for 4.5 years and says he is always on vegetable duty. On that particular day, Herbert distributed kale, collard greens and white potatoes. After picking up produce, families pick hygeine products and baked goods.

Becky is thankful for the partnership Hanover has with the Food Bank. What the pantry doesn’t get in donations, Becky uses her membership with the Food Bank of Delaware to supplement the inventory. Twice a month she visits to pick up an assortment of goods including frozen meats.

Check out some more pictures from Hanover’s food distribution!

 

 

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