Category Archives: Nutrition

Anti-hunger advocates launch year-long School Breakfast Challenge at Ending Hunger Through Citizen Service conference

Two-hundred-fifty anti-hunger advocates gathered at the Christiana Hilton yesterday for the second annual Ending Hunger Through Citizen Service conference. The highlight of the day-long event was the official launch of the School Breakfast Challenge.

Delaware Department of Education Secretary Mark Murphy officially launched the challenge, announcing that a total of $20,000 is available to schools that increase participation in the school breakfast program.

In the 2012-2013 school year, only 52.1 percent of children in Delaware who received free or reduced-price lunch also participated in school breakfast.

“We know for our children to be able to learn well, their minds need to be free from worrying about hunger pains. Ensuring our children receive nutritious meals is a vital component of their academic health,” Murphy said.

Cash prizes will be available in the following categories:

Districts

  • Highest overall participation percentage – cash prizes for first place ($4,000), second place ($2,000), third place ($1,000) and fourth place ($500).
  • Highest increase in participation – cash prizes for first place ($4,000), second place ($2,000), third place ($1,000), and fourth place ($500).
  • Implementation of an alternative breakfast program or adding breakfast where it was not offered before. Honorable mention

Charter/Nonpublic

  • Highest overall participation percentage. There will be cash prizes for first place ($2,500).
  • Highest increase in participation percentage. There will be cash prizes for first place ($2,500).
  • Implementation of an alternative breakfast program or adding breakfast where it was not offered before. Honorable mention

Winners will be announced at next year’s Ending Hunger Through Citizen Service conference, and funding must be used to purchase equipment to improve the infrastructure of their nutrition programs.

Governor Jack Markell applauded the School Breakfast Challenge and emphasized the state’s commitment to ensuring the all Delawareans, especially children, have access to nutritious foods.

“While Delaware’s economy continues to improve, we know the recovery hasn’t reached all of our neighbors,” Markell said. “We will keep the safety net strong for individuals, families and, especially, children who are vulnerable to hunger. One critical area of our focus is our schools, recognizing that without consistent access to food, children’s physical, emotional and educational growth are in jeopardy. The School Breakfast Challenge is another important step to move us closer to a hunger-free Delaware.”

Administrator of the United State Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Nutrition Services Audrey Rowe discussed USDA’s important role in alleviating hunger for millions of Americans.

“I want to commend the many school districts in Delaware who have brought breakfast into the classroom,” said Rowe. “We hear from teachers who say that when kids eat healthy foods they do better in school. When kids get lots of healthy food choices and exercise at school, they learn good habits for life.”

In addition to the launch of the school breakfast challenge, anti-hunger advocate Joel Berg, Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, provided keynote remarks that focused on the country’s collective will, including government’s, to end hunger.

“Saying we can end poverty and hunger by removing funding is like saying we can get rid of drought by removing water,” said Berg.

Four panels throughout the day focused on community-based advocacy, federal nutrition policies, healthy food access and funding for anti-hunger programs.

“The biggest bang for a federal dollar is SNAP benefits,” said Ellen Teller, Director of Government Relations for the Food Research and Action Center. “However, the SNAP program is the bull’s-eye on Capitol Hill. Anti-hunger advocates must be agile and play defense again the attacks.”

Panelists informed attendees that both national and local advocacy efforts are an important part of the political process as it relates to programs for low-income households.”

“When the stimulus funding ended last November, that meant an annual $16 million reduction in SNAP benefits, which is more than the entire annual budget of the Food Bank of Delaware,” said Secretary Rita Landgraf of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, which administers the SNAP program in the state. “Food is paramount to keeping people safe and healthy in their communities. That’s why we are committed to working with Gov. Jack Markell, our congressional delegation, state legislators and federal officials to find long-term solutions to meeting the basic food needs of vulnerable Delawareans.”

“Today was truly inspiring,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “To have so many individuals from all sectors show their support for a community free of hunger was humbling. We know that we have what it takes to end hunger in our state. Now we just need the political will to make it happen. Hunger is unacceptable in this country.”

To learn more about the School Breakfast Challenge or to sponsor it, please contact Dan Reyes, Coalition to End Hunger Coordinator at the Food Bank of Delaware, at (302) 292-1305 ext 206 or dreyes@fbd.org.

Check out some photos from the day!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Advocate, Events, Hunger, Nutrition, Poverty, Programs

LANA the Iguana

IMG_6919Meet LANA (Learning about Nutrition through Activities) the Iguana, the newest member of the Food Bank’s Nutrition Education team! Lana is a loveable iguana who only eats fruits and vegetables! Yesterday she accompanied Alina Wade, our Community Nutrition Educator, on a visit to the Absalom Jones Head Start program for preschool-aged children. Lana and Alina visited four classes yesterday!

Lana is no stranger to the kids at Absalom Jones! She was greeted with lots of hugs and kisses, as yesterday was her third visit to program.  The cute little iguana loves fruits and vegetables and shares her enthusiasm for healthy eating with the children!

LANA the Iguana was developed by the Minnesota Department of Health to help children learn to taste, eat and enjoy more fruits and vegetables. The goal of the LANA Preschool Program is to help young children eat more fruits and vegetables each day to promote good health, healthy weight and reduced risk of chronic disease

Yesterday, children were introduced to the apricot. But before they started, a brief review of last week’s featured vegetable, broccoli! Last week, the children had a chance to make their own miniature broccoli forrest by standing broccoli florets up in a cup of dip. Reviews were mixed on the broccoli sample they tasted, but one preschooler shared with the group that while she doesn’t like broccoli, she does like horses!

Each session is only 30 minutes long to keep the children engaged and focused. Yesterday Alina read, Lana Plays a Trick on Tenzin. After the story, children were asked if they knew about the apricot. Alina explained that apricots grow on trees. To show where their food comes from, the group played “pin the apricot on the tree.” The children lined up, closed their eyes and did their best to get the apricot on the tree! Before long it was time to say goodbye to Lana and Alina. Lana departed to a sea of preschool hugs and kisses!

Next week when Lana and Alina visit they will continue to learn about apricots. Using dried apricots pretzel rods and raisins, the children will create apricot “bugs!”

To learn more about Lana the Iguana, please contact Alina Wade, Community Nutrition Educator, at awade@fbd.org or (302) 292-1305 ext 210.

Check out some pictures from yesterday’s visit with Lana!

Leave a comment

Filed under Children's Nutrition, Nutrition, Programs

Doc & the Chef – hosted by Matt Haley and Dr. Uday Jani

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

Was I surprised to see a full-house for a cooking class on a Monday night in Lewes!

More than 130 people turned out for the first Doc & the Chef class hosted by Matt Haley and Dr. Uday Jani.

Matt, the owner and executive chef at SoDel Concepts, was recently honored with the prestigious James Beard Humanitarian Award. His restaurants include Fish On! in Lewes where the event was held, and six other fine dining restaurants in coastal Delaware.

Matt has developed a solid relationship with Chef Tim Hunter, Chef Instructor for the Food Bank of Delaware’s Culinary School in Milford. For us, the relationship is valuable in that our students, depending on where they live, may work their two-week internship in one of those fine restaurants.

Dr. Jani, named as one of Delaware Today magazine’s Top Doctors for 2013, is a Lewes-area internists, specializing in integrative care.

So when I saw an announcement for this free class, I immediately called and signed up, and I was not disappointed, nor was anyone else, I’d say.

OK, so how much is covered in an hour? I came home with ideas for healthy and delicious food preparation. . . ways to cook beets, brussel sprouts, and also how to use them in salads. Matt suggested adding roasted pecans and walnuts or raw lentils to salads as well. He cooked while he spoke, and in his own relaxed and laid-back style offered hints on everything from olive oil to turmeric and black pepper.

The chef suggested ways to economize, minimize waste and make creative pairings, such as the green beans, mushroom, garlic and curry combination.

Although they had a mission, the pair took a relaxed tag-team approach, with Dr. Jani and his wife, who was on the sidelines, contributing interesting, practical ways to incorporate lentils, quinoa, flax and hemp seed in our meals.

Here’s one reason why Matt was honored with the Beard award:  at the door, those attending were asked to make a $10 contribution to The Global Delaware Fund, a not-for-profit managed by the Delaware Community Foundation.

Global Delaware provides financial support for essential needs, for counseling and scholarships. Beneficiaries have included the Food Bank of Delaware, La Esperanza, Delaware’s foster children and Pranjal Children’s Academy in Nepal.

No date or location has been announced for the next in this series.

Leave a comment

Filed under Nutrition, Supporters

Registration open for Ending Hunger conference on April 7

Registration is now open for the second annual Ending Hunger Through Citizen Service conference scheduled for Monday, April 7 at the Christiana Hilton.

The all-day conference, sponsored in part by TD Bank and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, will focus on collaborative efforts to increase access to foods, educate families about available programs and using the state’s collective skills, resources and political will to end hunger. The conference will feature speakers from both state and federal government agencies, education, nonprofit, agricultural and other community-based sectors.

Joel Berg, a nationally-recognized media spokesman in the fields of domestic hunger, food security, obesity, poverty, food-related economic development, national service and volunteerism and Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, will provide keynote remarks during the conference.

Panels throughout the day will focus on community-based advocacy; the farm bill, federal policy and inequality; healthy food access; and funding for anti-hunger efforts.

“The one-day conference offers a unique opportunity to bring together key business leaders, faith based organizations, hunger-relief partners, educators, government officials and nonprofits all collaborating and working together toward real solutions to help empower people and create political will to end hunger in Delaware,” said Coalition to End Hunger Chairwoman Julie Miro Wenger.

“Last year’s event resulted in a lot of enthusiasm from a sold-out crowd for identifying ways to increase our state’s efforts to end hunger,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “As a result we have enhanced our Coalition, are working with educators to increase participation in school breakfast, identifying new ways to bring in more produce for low-income Delawareans and increasing outreach to individuals utilizing food assistance who can serve as advocates in the community. I am excited to see what ideas are generated from this year’s event.”

When: Monday, April 7, 2014; 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Where: Christiana Hilton, 100 Continental Drive

Registration: Registration is $25/person and includes a continental breakfast and lunch

Agenda:

7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.; VIP Breakfast (invitation only; featuring remarks from Rick Goff, Executive Director, Office of Children’s Nutrition, West Virginia)

7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.; Registration, Breakfast, Exhibit Tables

8:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.; Opening Remarks

8:30 a.m. -9:00 a.m.; Announcement of School Breakfast Challenge, Secretary Mark Murphy, Delaware Department of Education

9:00 a.m. – 9:55 a.m.; Keynote address, Joel Berg, Executive Director, New York City Coalition Against Hunger

10:00 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.; Community-Based Advocacy

11:15 a.m. – 12:25 p.m.; Farm Bill, Federal Policy and Equality

12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.; Lunch

2:05 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.; Healthy Food Access

3:25 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Making it Happen – Funding

Complete panel descriptions and speakers, registration and more information can be found at www.coalitiontoendhunger.org.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Hunger, Nutrition, Poverty, Programs

Food Bank holds cooking demonstrations at local WIC offices

0121 Amanda photoBy Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

On a chilly Thursday afternoon, WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) clients at the Milford State Service Center were in for a treat.

Amanda Good, our Food Demonstration Specialist and a registered dietitian, prepared tantalizing peanut butter and banana French toast from a mobile cooking station, and then offered samples to parents and children waiting in the center’s lobby.

As part of the Smart Choices for WIC program,  Amanda visits the state’s 11 centers every month with a new recipe to encourage people to get the most out of the products they receive from WIC.

This January morning, she shared budget-friendly and time-conscious cooking tips as she mashed ripened bananas with a potato masher purchased a dollar store.

“It makes it easier when flipping,” she said, noting that banana slices can easily slide out of the sandwich. The sandwiches cook, four minutes on each side in a skillet sprayed with non-stick oil.

Marta Begueros of Lincoln was delighted that her daughters got to sample the sandwiches.

“They like it,” she said, adding that she would try the recipe at home.

In addition to a tasty snack, participants who participated in the demonstration go home with a spiral-bound SNAP cookbook, apron, oven mitt and a save-the-date card for the next demonstration.

Smart Choices for WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) is a skills and knowledge-building program utilizing the 2010 Dietary Guidelines and USDA MyPlate recommendations.  The program focuses on teaching pregnant and new mothers about healthy eating and how they can learn to prepare nutritious easy meals from the foods on their food vouchers.

“People don’t realize that protein can be found in eggs and beans,” Amanda explained. The recipe for French toast includes six eggs as well as a cup of milk.

February’s recipe will be a hearty white chili.

For more information, please contact Amanda Good, RD MS, Food Demonstration Specialist, at (302) 292-1305 ext 209 or agood@fbd.org.

Leave a comment

Filed under Nutrition, Programs

50th anniversary of the War on Poverty

ILGWU_workers_meet_Lyndon_B._JohnsonBy Matt Talley, SNAP Outreach Coordinator

This January marked the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, an idea set forth by President Lyndon B. Johnson in his 1964 State of the Union Address.

As he stood before a joint session of Congress, the 1960’s were already shaping up to be a time of radical and far reaching changes.  Movements were springing up around civil rights, LGBT rights, feminism and a host of other issues.  Many of the social problems haunting the country were made even clearer in the light of longstanding economic injustices suffered by disenfranchised segments of the American populace.  It was in this context that the President declared “unconditional war on poverty in America.”

Specifically, Johnson’s declaration was an appeal to the nation’s lawmakers – a call for legislation designed to attack poverty with renewed vigor by addressing employment, education, housing and health.  In the abstract, it seems like such a simple and beautiful idea.  Congress would help create job opportunities by allocating funding to improve schools and provide better training.  Congress would fund programs to combat urban decay and infrastructure rot and to enact contributions to programs to protect senior citizens.  And by creating safety net mechanisms such as a minimum wage, food stamps and unemployment insurance, Congress would help to ensure a basic standard of living for even the most disadvantaged households.

In short, Congress would use taxpayer money to invest in the success of current and future generations of Americans.

Unfortunately, this call for sustained and dedicated action has not reverberated through the decades.  Some degree of fervor, sympathy, and social outrage was lost during the 70’s and 80’s.  And by the end of the Reagan Administration, many of LBJ’s Great Society reforms had been cut up and transformed.

Now, fifty years after that historic speech, are we winning or losing the War on Poverty?  Maybe it’s a war that can never truly be won, with no clear lines drawn in the sand and no real enemy to admit defeat.  However, just take one quick look at the nation’s ever widening income disparity.  Look at the slow rebound from the Great Recession, especially for low-income households.  Look at the number of households reliant on programs like SNAP and LIHEAP.  It’s clear that the root causes of poverty have not yet been defeated.

On January 8, 1964, the President Johnson’s words echoed through the House chamber.  He spoke of “a unique opportunity and obligation—to prove the success of our system; to disprove those cynics and critics at home and abroad who question our purpose and our competence.  If we fail, if we fritter and fumble away our opportunity in needless, senseless quarrels between Democrats and Republicans, or between the House and the Senate, or between the South and North, or between the Congress and the administration, then history will rightfully judge us harshly.”

So let’s ask ourselves, fifty years after the War on Poverty was declared, how will history judge us?

Leave a comment

Filed under Nutrition, Poverty

Program spotlight: Cape Henlopen School District Backpack Program

01_16 rehoboth backpack photo

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

Judy Hudson, the social worker at Rehoboth Elementary School, is the school coordinator for the Food Bank of Delaware’s Backpack Program, but she quickly credits two faithful PTO volunteers as “the energy behind the distribution.”

Statewide, the program serves 4,382 students in 115 schools. Students are referred into the program, rather than based on income requirements or eligibility for free and reduced lunches.

The Food Bank of Delaware’s Backpack Program provides food to children in need for weekends and holidays when school is not in session and federal school meal programs are not available.

Backpacks are stocked with kid-friendly, nutritious food including shelf-stable milk and juice, meals such as macaroni and cheese, spaghetti and meatballs and beef stew, granola bars, apple sauce, cereal and more.

Food and informational flyers for the backpacks are packed by volunteers, and the Food Bank of Delaware delivers the bags to participating sites weekly. Site staff stores the bags in a secure area until distribution day.

Dependent upon availability, school supplies are also distributed in the take-home bags.

So each week, the Food Bank trucks deliver 99 backpacks to the Rehoboth school’s back door where they are unloaded by the custodial staff, and then every Thursday volunteers Carrie Robertson and Sandy Monigle take the bags around.

Since these moms are sensitive to how differently older children respond to receiving the bag, they have one system for younger kids and another for those in grades 4 and 5.

Second grade teacher Keri Mitchell places the bags in her students’ backpacks.

“The little ones are very thankful because they will now have food in the house for the weekend. This really helps the whole family,” Mitchell said.

At H.O. Brittingham, another elementary school in the Cape Henlopen School District, Katina Powell is the school secretary and also the designated school coordinator for the past three years.

Powell accepted the responsibility because she was all too aware of the need; of the school’s 583 students, 82 percent live in poverty.

“Who can say no,” she said, adding that she relies on a paraprofessional to distribute the bags to students.

“The Food Bank trucks come on Wednesday, and we take them on Thursday.”

She can see that students love the backpacks.

“It’s done discreetly. If it’s not there, they are looking for it. It’s something that shows we care. The littlest thing, they are appreciative for. We do coat drives, Christmas drives and Thanksgiving drives. We are the only school in my district that has this type of poverty. We do the best we can to make it work,” she said.

To learn more about the Backpack Program, please contact Alina Wade at awade@fbd.org or (302) 292-1305 ext 210.

It costs approximately $158 to provide one child with weekend and holiday food for a whole school year.  This includes the cost of  food for each week, supplies, transportation and program administration. To sponsor a child, call Larry Haas, Development Director, at (302) 294-0185 or email him at lhaas@fbd.org.

Leave a comment

Filed under Children's Nutrition, Hunger, Hunger-Relief Partners, Nutrition, Programs

Filling little bellies on the weekend with the Backpack Program

Backpack April 2013 2By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

Last week, I had the opportunity to visit two schools that participate in our Backpack Program, and more specifically to meet the coordinators for a feature story about the program: Judy Hudson at Rehoboth Elementary School and Katina Powell at H.O. Brittingham Elementary in Milton. (Check back for the story on Monday!)

Let me say something at the start: being professionally associated with the Food Bank of Delaware is an honor and a privilege. No matter where I go, people express appreciation for the services we provide, and especially those directed toward children who have no food at home.

Visiting sites is educational on several levels, and it’s also an opportunity to answer questions about the services we offer. These school coordinators were all too familiar with the faces of childhood hunger.

That’s right. Thousands of children here in Delaware come to school for breakfast and lunch, then return home to empty refrigerators and kitchen cupboards. What about the weekends?

The Backpack Program provides nutritious food for these kids over the weekend. Packed inside a five-pound plastic potato bag are four kid-friendly, non-perishable meals and two snacks.

Food Bank trucks deliver these bags to the 115 schools statewide, and from there it takes a team to discreetly put a bag in a child’s backpack. Each school has its own distribution system.

Although the demographics of these elementary schools differ, both schools I visited are part of the Cape Henlopen School District and educate students from kindergarten to 5th grades.

The Backpack Program is set up statewide so that when a teacher or counselor becomes aware of a child who might be food insecure, the designated school coordinator attempts to get parents or guardians to complete the paperwork for this service.

At the school in Rehoboth, 99 backpacks go home each weekend, while 55 are distributed in Milton.

Nevertheless, both school coordinators called the backpacks blessings to those who received them and were extremely appreciative that this program helps their students secure one of life’s basic necessities.

To learn more about the Backpack Program, please contact School Nutrition Coordinator, Alina Wade, at (302) 292-1305 ext 210 or awade@fbd.org.

Leave a comment

Filed under Children's Nutrition, Hunger, Hunger-Relief Partners, Nutrition, Poverty, Programs

Kid C.H.E.F. at the Stevenson House in Milford

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

On a chilly January afternoon, nine teen-age guys sat around tables at the Stevenson House listening attentively as Asia Thurston reviewed sources of protein and the distinction between proteins and diary.

Asia is a Community Nutrition Educator for the Food Bank of Delaware, and she takes her Kid C.H.E.F. program on the road to schools, child care centers and even unlikely locations like the Stevenson House.

The William Marion Stevenson House Detention Center in Milford is a lock-secure facility staffed for 55 pre-adjudicated male and female youth under the age of 18 years old.

Visitors must have permission to enter, and youth rehabilitative counselors are seated near the teens in the cafeteria where Ms. Thurston presents her lessons.

C.H.E.F.  is an acronym for Cooking Health Easy Foods, so Asia selects recipes that students can prepare at home with or without supervision.

As part of the program, each student goes home with a small draw-string backpack loaded with kitchen utensils and an oven mitten mitt, and additionally they receive the recipes from class in the Kid C.H.E.F.  package.

The teens respond as Asia peppers them with questions: Who can name a protein? Who has tried tofu?

Last week’s 60-minute lesson centers around turkey tacos, and this instructor hands out can openers along with cans of tomatoes and beans.

“They really love this,” said Andrea Wojcik, communications coordinator for Delaware’s Services for Children, Youth & Families, the state agency which oversees the youth housed in this facility.

After using hand sanitizer and donning plastic gloves, teens volunteer to participate in the preparation, then joke amongst themselves as the ground turkey browns in the electric skillet.

Some of the teens,01-11 kids chef03 whose names are kept confidential, say they enjoy cooking.

One young man, identified as C., his first initial, said he enjoyed the Kid C.H.E.F. experience.

“I like to cook. It’s fun,” he said, adding that he cooked for his sister while his mother worked.

J., 17, said he’s been cooking since he was 11 years old and also worked the grill in a restaurant.

“It’s excellent. It gives you knowledge, things I can share with my little brother.”01_11 kids chef02

The program is free to all children who qualify. To sponsor a child for this program, contact Larry Haas, Development Director at lhaas@fbd.org. The cost of $72 includes the chef equipment and tote bag, food to prepare recipes and take-home nutrition education materials and activities for the family.

For more information about hosting a Kid C.H.E.F. class in Kent or Sussex Counties, contact Asia at (302) 393-2013 or athurston@fbd.org.

Leave a comment

Filed under Children's Nutrition, Hunger-Relief Partners, Nutrition, Programs

Share a Second Helping this winter with Delawareans struggling to put meals on the table

Anti-hunger advocates gathered this morning outside the Delaware Department of Labor’s Pencader office to launch Share a Second Helping, a winter-long giving/awareness campaign. The kick-off coincided with a mobile food distribution for individuals utilizing the unemployment office.

In response to a recent $16 million dollar cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Delaware and even deeper cuts to SNAP proposed by members of the United States Congress, the Coalition to End Hunger, Food Bank of Delaware, Delaware Health and Social Services and Delaware 2-1-1 encourage Delawareans to dig a little deeper this winter season to help families struggling to make ends meet.

“A sixteen-million dollar cut to SNAP is a significant cut for already-vulnerable populations, such as our children, seniors, people with disabilities and the working poor, “ said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “This cut is more than the entire yearly budget of the food bank. Already-strapped charitable organizations cannot fill the void of Congress’ inability to come up with workable solutions to the problems associated with poverty.”

DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf said the state will work with the community to make up the gap left by the $16 million reduction to SNAP. “We have 156,000 Delawareans who receive SNAP benefits, up dramatically from the 72,000 people we served just five years ago,” she said. “In a country that has so much and so much to be grateful for this holiday season, we cannot sit back as a government or as a society and, in good conscience, allow people to go hungry. Our SNAP program is meant as a safety net, and yet we know of too many families and seniors who have to decide between food or paying for their utilities, medications or paying their mortgage.”

Share a Second Helping takes a three-pronged approach to assisting Delawareans this winter:

  • Gather food and monetary resources to meet the immediate food needs of Delawareans during the winter months
  • Educate at-risk Delawareans on available resources, including the services of Delaware 2-1-1
  • Work with elected officials and stakeholders to implement long-term solutions to meet these nutritional needs through a strong federal safety net

With a campaign goal of 100,000 pounds, the Food Bank of Delaware encourages individuals, businesses, community-based organizations, schools, faith-based organizations and others to host winter-long food drives and fundraisers.

A recent study by the Food Research and Action Council shows that Delaware ranks 12th worst in the nation for food hardship amongst households with children. Witnessing firsthand these increased needs from the community, Delaware 2-1-1 fielded more than 100,000 phone calls from Delawareans in need of human services last year.

“Delaware 2-1-1 understands first-hand the basic needs of our neighbors,” said Delaware 2-1-1 Director Donna Synder White. “Monthly, we receive hundreds of calls from Delawareans and for years, the Food Bank of Delaware, and others partners, have utilized our easy 2-1-1 to connect people to food closest, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, senior centers, after-school and a host of other food programs so that no individual or family in the state goes without a meal to eat.”

Representative Ed Osienski and Senator Bryan Townsend were both on hand for the launch and are committed to advocating in Dover for a hunger-free state.

“If the cuts in unemployment claim extensions, which are being debated now in Washington, take affect then you’ll see a reduction in lines inside the Department of Labor unemployment office move outside to the mobile food distribution lines,” said Osienski. “Who will be providing the additional resources for that shift?”

“We must do more to support the many Delawareans who experience hunger on a daily basis,” send Townsend. “The holidays are a time when people often rally around these efforts, and certainly we should embrace holiday spirit and generosity in November and December. But every day of the year, a Delaware senior or child experiences sharp pangs of hunger. As the U.S. Congress proposes deep cuts to critical anti-hunger programs, we must become all the more vigilant about developing the kind of programs and distribution channels to help end hunger in our state, year-round, top to bottom, from seniors to schoolchildren.”

Central to the campaign’s advocacy component is giving Delawareans utilizing human services a voice in working to bring about systemic change.

“Share a Second Helping is not only about gathering the needed resources to get through the cold winter months, it’s also about coming up with solutions to effectively end hunger and battling negative stereotypes surrounding those in need of emergency food assistance,” said Coalition to End Hunger Chairwoman Julie Miro Wenger. “We are serving hard-working families, adults with disabilities, seniors who have worked their entire lives and children. We all play a role in ensuring that we meet the basic needs of families.”

To learn more about Share a Second Helping, please visit http://www.fbd.org/share-a-second-helping/. Information about food drives, fundraisers and advocacy can be found there. For individuals in need of emergency food assistance, please contact the Delaware 2-1-1 by simply dialing 2-1-1.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Advocate, Donate, Face of Hunger, Hunger, Nutrition, Supporters, Volunteer