Category Archives: Just for Fun

Food Bank of Delaware declares winners of third annual DelawareCAN contest

A farm scene, huge lunch box, a power grid, a child reading, a mosque and other structures made of nonperishable foods were among the winners of our third annual DelawareCAN competition.

In an effort to help stock our shelves and ensure that hungry Delawareans have access to healthy foods, we launched our third annual DelawareCAN competition in mid-September. The competition provided a creative way to collect much-needed food and create a spirited competition in Delaware’s business and educational communities. Participants held food drives and competed to create sculptures out of the food items collected. In total, we received more than 46,000 pounds through the DelawareCAN competition.

The following organizations were declared winners by our panel of judges today. The “People’s Choice Award” was chosen by the Food Bank of Delaware’s Facebook fans.

Business category:

  • Best Use of Labels – KBR & DuPont
  • Best Use of Most Needed Items – Bank of America
  • Best Meal – Bank of America
  • Most Creative – Delmarva Power
  • Best in Show – Chase
  • People’s Choice Award – Chase
  • Bounty Award – Barclays Wilmington

Youth category:

  • Best Use of Labels – Zakat Foundation
  • Best Use of Most Needed Items – St. Mary Magdalen School
  • Best Meal – Layton Prep and Centreville School
  • Most Creative – Sussex Tech
  • Best in Show – Wilmington Montessori School
  • People’s Choice Award – Zakat Foundation
  • Bounty Award – Wilmington Montessori School

“Last week we were worried as supplies became low in both of our warehouses,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “Thanks to the generosity of local businesses, organizations and schools we now have more than 46,000 pounds of nonperishable goods that we can get out into our community. These donations could not have come at a better time.”

“We were so honored to be part of DelawareCAN again this year,” said Chip Rossi, Delaware Market President, Bank of America. “It is a terrific team building activity and provides much needed food for our fellow Delawareans!”

“Helping the needy was never so much fun,” said Irfan Patel of the Zakat Foundation. “It was very fulfilling to see the team spirit at work in spearheading the campaign, and the creativity applied in the planning, designing and building the structure. At the same time, the realization that this is all going to help the needy made our day.”

The following organizations/schools/groups participated in the third annual DelawareCAN competition:

Business category:

  • Chase
  • Barclays (Wilmington)
  • Capital One
  • KBR & DuPont
  • Delmarva
  • Barclays
  • TD Bank
  • Bank of America
  • Delaware State University

Youth category:

  • Layton Preparatory and Centerville School
  • Wilmington Montessori School
  • St. Mary Magdalen
  • Zakat Foundation
  • Sussex Tech
  • St. Ann’s

For information on participating in next year’s DelawareCAN competition, please contact Caitlin Custer, Food Bank of Delaware Donor Outreach Coordinator, at (302) 292-1305 ext 253 or

Check out some pictures from all of our participants!

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Delaware organizations encouraged to build structures out of cans to alleviate hunger

We are excited about our third annual DelawareCAN competition! Organizations have until September 4 to register for the food drive and structure-building contest.

In an effort to help stock our shelves prior to the holiday season and ensure that hungry Delawareans have access to healthy foods, we launched DelawareCAN in 2011. The competition is a creative way to collect much-needed food and create a spirited competition in Delaware’s business and education communities.

“As a local business, Capital One is committed to giving back and driving opportunity in the communities where we work and live. We are proud to partner with the Food Bank of Delaware to provide food for hungry families and honored to be a previous winner of the DelawareCAN contest,” said John Owens, MVP, Business Analysis, Capital One Bank. “Our associates look forward to this year’s event and have set a goal to exceed items collected in the past, so that we can help to feed even more families.”

From Monday, September 23 until Friday, October 18, organizations will have the opportunity to hold food drives and compete to create sculptures out of the food items collected. Before collecting, teams should decide on their structure and coordinate the types of food items to be collected. Over the past two years more than 60,000 pounds of food have been collected through the competition.

“Last year’s participants really set the bar high,” said our President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “The judges were amazed as we traveled across the state to view the structures that were created out of cans and boxes. We were impressed not only by their creativity, but by our state’s commitment to alleviating hunger for the one in four Delawareans who depend on our network of assistance.”

Judging will take place on Monday, October 21 and Tuesday, October 22 and winners will be announced on Monday, October 28. For complete competition guidelines or to register, visit Questions regarding the competition may be directed to Food Bank of Delaware Donor Outreach Coordinator Caitlin Custer at (302) 292-1305 ext 253 or

Check out some pictures from last year’s winners!

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Summer Through the Eyes of the Intern

By Mike Dombkoski, Communications Intern

When it comes to searching for internships for University of Delaware students, the Food Bank of Delaware (FBD) probably doesn’t immediately catch the eye. Business students look for work with high ranking financial institutions, science majors may look at hospitals or research opportunities, and, somehow, a place that genuinely helps people the way the Food Bank does, gets overlooked.

I began my internship here at the Food Bank back in late May, and I’ll be finishing up my last week here in late August. I found out about the internship way back in the fall when communications director, Kim Turner (aka my current boss), came into my Intro to Public Relations class and I ended up having to do a project for FBD.

For many students, an unpaid internship at a small(-ish) non-profit may not jump out at them. For me, it was exactly what I was looking for. After a few months of hounding Kim every time she came to UD and harassing her with emails, I eventually set up an internship to work for her for the summer.

Going back to my first day in May, to be honest, I was pretty scared. I had worked plenty of jobs before, but as someone who had just finished his sophomore year, I had never worked an internship before and never in an office. Walking in to the building, I was immediately greeted by Kim, who had the first office on the right. She did her best to make me feel welcomed by introducing me to everyone who worked for the Food Bank.

And when I say everyone, I mean everyone.

She reassured me that I did not need to memorize everyone’s name right then, and my brain relaxed a little at that sentiment.

From there, I was thrown right into the mix. I remember calling my mom proudly that day to tell her about my day and showing off that I had worked right through lunch, not leaving my work to eat my packed peanut butter and jelly.

Now, of course, not every day was like this. Every business has its slow days and busy days, as does every internship. But working at an internship where I worked both in and out of the office was a refreshing, new experience.

In the first couple of weeks, I was able to meet NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon and Governor of Delaware Jack Markell through a couple of events. I have to admit, I would not have expected to meet such high profile people through an internship like this, but, lucky for me, I did.

But this internship was a lot more than just meeting people that I could show off to my friends and family for meeting. Some students can work internships where they work all day and rarely see how their company is affecting or helping people. That’s not the case here.

On more than one occasion, I got to see how the Food Bank helps Delaware and the people that they are helping. These are people who have lost jobs, family members, or can no longer work for whatever reason, and, without the help of the Food Bank, probably would not make it.

Two of my favorite moments of the internship came recently. One was at our mobile pantry at the Northeast State Services Center in Wilmington. Families were able to take home up to 30 pounds of food after taking a financial literacy class at the center. Seeing the truck out in that parking lot, the cast of Bank of America volunteers helping, and the genuine appreciation on the faces and in the words of the families who were receiving the food made it obvious why the employees at the Food Bank enjoy doing what they do.


The other moment came when Kim and I went with truck driver John Sease to watch him deliver produce to some of our feeding sites in the area. The volunteers helping with the food at each site seemed excited each time John pulled up to their loading zone. Sease would ask about everyone’s family and knew specific things about all of them. It was then that I realized the Food Bank provides a lot more than just food.

Through my three short months at the Food Bank, I learned a lot more than I would have working in just a “regular” office. I made friends, learned the inner workings of a food bank (no, you don’t just pick up the food directly from here), and learned skills that you cannot acquire sitting at a desk. I gained a greater appreciation of things. Most importantly, I learned it’s better to love a job by the work you are doing, and not by a paycheck.

Late into the internship, Kim made it a habit of preaching small life lessons every now and then. Some were serious, some funny, but all worth listening to. One definitely stuck with me.

“Stay humble.”

If nothing else, the Food Bank of Delaware has taught me to appreciate my life more, think of others, and to never put myself above anyone else. I can truly understand the meaning of the word humble when I look at Kim and many of the other employees here fighting the never-ending problem of hunger in Delaware.

I can’t thank the Food Bank of Delaware, Kim Turner, and everyone else who helped me along the way enough. Thank you so much for this opportunity and I hope to see you all in the future.

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2012 Year in Review

We are thankful to be able to say that 2012 was a good year at the Food Bank of Delaware! 2012 ushered in new programs and initatives to meet the needs of Delawareans struggling to put meals on the table! Check out our accomplishments in 2012!

113January: January marked the opening of our first school pantry in Kent County at Lake Forest High School. We were honored that First Lady Carla Markell and other local officials joined us for a grand opening celebration. In addition to the local officials, kindergarten students from the district sang for the audience and toured the new food closet. Their class collected the most food as part of the Battle of the Belly food drive!

004February: We are constantly amazed by how generous our community is. We were thrilled to learn in February that we were awarded a brand-new refrigerated truck from Walmart! The truck travels throughout the state picking up fresh donations from local retailers like Walmart. The new truck is valued at $90,000. In addition to the new truck, Walmart has also donated $75,000 to the Backpack Program. The funding allowed us to provide 378 children with weekend and holiday food for an entire school year.

eggsMarch: In March a local egg donor, who wished to remain anonymous, donated DSC_0098web129,600 eggs to the Food Bank - just in time for the Easter holiday! The donation was part of a national effort organized by the United Egg Distributors. We also launched our SNAP Outreach program in March. Through the program, our SNAP Outreach team educates individuals, who are eligible, about the benefits of the program. They also conduct application assistance throughout the state.

458852_10150705633429476_45954849475_8923030_178959199_oApril: April was a busy month at the Food Bank of Delaware. We started the month by attending the Governor’s Youth Volunteer Awards dinner in034 Dover where Food Bank of Delaware volunteer Chris Willis was honored. We closed out the month by honoring 12 Food Bank of Delaware supporters who go above and beyond to help those struggling with hunger! Among the honorees were former Congressman Mike Castle, who serves as Honorary Chairman of our Milford Branch capital campaign.

090May: The busyness didn’t stop in May. Several events kept our staff busy throughout the month. We marked a $125,000 donation from JPMorgan Chase with an event at Bancroft Elementary. The funding was used to start three school pantries at Stubbs, Bancroft and Palmer Elementaries and provide weekend and holiday food to children in New Castle County through the Backpack Program.Group

In partnership with the National Association of Letter Carriers we held our most successful Stamp Out Hunger! postal food drive ever. We collected more than 202,000 pounds of food in one day!

Empty Bowls Sanford School May 17th 2012 (45)In the middle of the month Sanford School hosted an Empty Bowls event. More than $10,000 was raised through community donations and pottery purchases.

072The annual Wilmington Grand Prix took place in May with the Parade to Fight Hunger kicking off the Saturday bike races. The last day of the weekend event featured Delaware’s first-ever Gran Fondo bike ride. The 62-mile bike ride took riders throughout some of New Castle County’s most scenic properties. 035We also spent a day in May at Legislative Hall educating our elected officials about hunger in Delaware. Representative Ed Osienski sponsored House Concurrent Resolution 49 during the afternoon legislative session recognizing the Food Bank of Delaware’s commitment to ending hunger in the First State.

039June: We celebrated our 30th graduating class of The Culinary School in June. Robert Egger, Founder of the DC Central Kitchen and author of Begging for Change, addressed the students and praised them for changing lives. “You all have already changed lives by making the choice to come here,” he said. “You don’t have to choose between making money and doing good, you can do both.”

State FairJuly: Food Bank of Delaware staff members were able to spend a day at the Delaware State Fair in July as part of Food Lion’s first-ever Hunger Relief Day! With a donation of four Food Lion-brand canned goods, attendees received free admittance to the fair. In one day we collected more than 15,000 pounds of food!

ING DIRECTAugust: We were excited to host ING Direct’s Orange Day of Caring in August. ING Direct donated $10,000 to provide school supplies and weekend bags full of food for kids through the Backpack Program. In addition to providing the funding, volunteers spent the 029day packing school supplies and food bags for at-risk children. We held our fourth annual Evening in the Garden at the University of Delaware Garden for the Community in August. The annual event celebrates the bounty of the garden! In total more than 16,000 pounds was collected this growing season!

067September: It looks like every month in 2012 was a busy one at the Food Bank of Delaware! In September we held our first Dinner in the Orchard at T.S. Smith & Sons in Bridgeville. 080The evening featured fresh foods from local farmers and growers, wine and beer from local wineries and breweries, live entertainment and carriage rides through T.S. Smith & Sons’ farm! We also broke ground on our Milford Branch expansion project in September. Capital Campaign Honorary Chairman Mike Castle, Senator Tom Carper and other local dignitaries joined us for the ceremonial ground breaking.

October: 012Our warehouse was transformed into a Roaring 20s speakeasy in October for our annual Blue Jean Ball. Guests arrived dressed as flappers and gangsters and enjoyed an evening of fine fING DIRECToods from The Culinary School, entertainment from Strangers, beer and wine and a silent auction. Later in the month our panel of DelawareCAN judges visited 14 build sites to choose the best can structures! More than 30,000 pounds of food were collected through the competition!

053November: The Environmental Protection Agency held a joint event at the Food Bank on National Recycle Day to announce that the Food Bank and the Kenny Family ShopRites will work together through the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge to divert and donate as much of the five Delaware grocery stores’ 009excess food as possible. Leaders from Bank of America joined us just before the Thanksgiving holiday to distribute Thanksgiving boxes to local organizations who feed the hungry. In honor of the Thanksgiving season, Banko America presented $35,000 for the capital campaign. In addition, they announced that the bank will provide a two-for-one match of donations to Feeding America’s holiday “Give a Meal” program.

049bwDecember: In partnership with the Food Bank, the Colonial School District announced earlier thisCheck month that it now has six in-school pantries for district families. Colonial is the only district in the entire state with this many school pantries! Chesapeake Utilities announced this week an $18,000 gift to the Food Bank to sponsor two holiday food distributions. Six-hundred families from Kent and Sussex Counties received assistance through the program.

Thank you to all for making 2012 such a successful year at the Food Bank of Delaware! We are truly appreciative of our community’s support! Happy Holidays! Here’s to a hunger-free 2013!

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Let’s Talk Turkey: Thanksgiving Food Safety Tips

By Beverly Jackey RD, Community Nutritionist

Thanksgiving is just around the corner so to keep your turkey safe and your guests too, here are some helpful hints from USDA’s Food and Inspection Service website.


Purchase a large enough turkey to allow 1 pound per person. Buy fresh turkeys 1-2 days before you cook them. Frozen turkeys can be purchased months ahead and kept in the freezer indefinitely; however, cook within one year for best quality.


There are three ways to thaw your turkey safely: in cold water, in the microwave oven or in the refrigerator, which is the method used most often. Allow 4-5 days to safely thaw a 15-20 pound turkey in your refrigerator. Keep the turkey in its original wrapper. Place it on a tray or pan to catch juices that may leak. A thawed turkey can remain in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.


Remove the giblets from the turkey cavities after thawing. Cook separately.
Set oven temperature no lower than 325 °F. Place your turkey on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.

Stuffing a turkey is not recommended, however; if you choose to stuff your turkey, mix wet and dry ingredients just before filling the turkey cavities loosely.

Cook the turkey immediately. Use a food thermometer to make sure the center of the stuffing reaches an internal temperature of 165 °F.

If your turkey has a “pop-up” temperature indicator, it is recommended that you also check the internal temperature of the turkey at the thickest part of the breast with a food thermometer for a minimum internal temperature of 165 °F for safety.

Let the turkey stand for 20 minutes for the juices to set so the turkey will carve more easily. Remove all stuffing from the turkey cavities.

For great tasting turkey, follow these tips: 

  • Tuck wing tips under the shoulders of the bird for more even cooking. This is referred to as “akimbo.” 
  • For a moist turkey add ½ cup of water or broth to the bottom of the pan and baste every 30 minutes.
  • Place a lid or a tent of heavy-duty aluminum foil over the turkey for the first 1 to 1 ½ hours. This allows for maximum heat circulation, keeps the turkey moist, and reduces oven splatter.
  • To prevent overbrowning, foil may also be placed over the turkey after it reaches the desired color.

REMEMBER! Always wash hands, utensils, the sink, and anything else that comes in contact with raw turkey and its juices with soap and water.

For more information on other methods and times for cooking a turkey and storing leftovers, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline  or visit  

The Food Bank of Delaware family wishes you all a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Food Bank of Delaware warehouse to become Roaring Twenties speakeasy

It’s going to be the cat’s meow! It’s time for our Roaring Twenties Blue Jean Ball. We are excited to host our annual signature event on Saturday, October 13 from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. in our Newark warehouse at 14 Garfield Way in the Delaware Industrial Park.

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 or most fabulous outfits for a night at the food bank-inspired speakeasy. This year’s theme will take guests back to the jazz era; our 33,000-square-foot warehouse will be transformed into a space reminiscent of a speakeasy of the 1920s!

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

The evening will feature beer and wine and fine cuisine prepared by our Executive Chef, Tim Hunter, Chef Instructor, Mark Saunders, and students from The Culinary School. The evening’s menu will include popular foods from the era such as lamb chops with chasseur sauce, chicken a la rose, Waldorf salad, asparagus au gratin, fried raviolis and more.  

Live entertainment will be provided by Strangers, a 12-piece band from Philadelphia. Guests will also have an opportunity to bid on a wide selection of items during the silent auction.

“Earlier this month Gallup released new information indicating that Delaware ranks third in the country for highest percentage of residents who cannot afford food,” said our President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “We meet thousands of families who oftentimes are faced with the difficult decision of buying groceries or paying their rent or mortgage, and seniors who must choose between buying food and paying for their medications. The funds raised from this year’s Blue Jean Ball will help us provide emergency food so families and individuals aren’t forced to choose between food and other basic necessities.”

By utilizing the warehouse space and the culinary skills of students and our staff of chefs, we are able to significantly reduce costs. Last year, close to 90 percent of event proceeds went directly back to our hunger-relief efforts!

Tickets are available for $100/person and $1,000/table of ten. Ticket prices increase to $125 after October 1. Tickets may be purchased by calling (302) 444-8074 or by visiting

Check out some pictures from last year’s disco-inspired event!

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It’s time for DelawareCAN! Who will create Delaware’s best can structure this year?

Registration for our second annual DelawareCAN competition is now open! Organizations have until September 5 to register for the food drive and structure-building contest.

In an effort to help stock our shelves and ensure that hungry Delawareans have access to healthy foods, we launched DelawareCAN last year. The competition is a creative way to collect much needed food and create a spirited competition in Delaware’s business community.

“The energy created within DuPont during our participation in the first annual DelawareCAN event quickly built bridges across the many DuPont sites,” said Bill Short, civil engineering technology leader at DuPont. “The donations from the hundreds of local DuPonters allowed our volunteers to come together as a team to build the structure and a sense of community that lasted long after the food was donated.” 

From Monday, September 24 until Friday, October 19, organizations will have the opportunity to hold food drives and compete to create sculptures out of the food items collected. Before collecting, teams should decide on their structure and coordinate the types of food items to be collected. Last year’s competition brought in more than 30,000 pounds of food.

“Last year, JPMorgan Chase and our 5,900 employees from across Delaware joined the food bank to help feed our community members in need and participate in a terrific event,” said Scott Lammers, Chair, Delaware Volunteer Leadership Group, JPMorgan Chase. “The food drive contest was a tremendous success, and we look forward to being a part of DelawareCAN again this year.”

“The response we received from Delaware’s business community in the first year was wonderful,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “The enthusiasm levels from this competition made it very clear to me – Delawareans understand the problems of hunger in our state and are committed to making a difference in the lives of those struggling to put meals on the table.”

Judging will take place on Monday, October 22 and 23 and winners will be announced on Monday, October 29. For complete competition guidelines or to register, visit Questions regarding the competition may be directed to Development Director Larry Haas at (302) 294-0185 or

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