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 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.