Category Archives: Supporters

Help us Stamp Out Hunger on May 10!

By Caitlin Custer, Donor Outreach Coordinator

Each year, the National Association of Letter Carriers holds a massive one-day food drive with the support of the community. Last year, Stamp Out Hunger brought in more than 270,000 pounds of food in just one day! This year’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive takes place nationwide on Saturday, May 10. The Food Bank of Delaware and other hunger-relief organizations throughout the state are the recipients of donations collected in the First State.

Wednesday or Thursday before the food drive, a bag will be delivered to homes all over Delaware. Simply fill the bag with nonperishable cans and leave by your mailbox prior to mail delivery on May 10! Your letter carrier will take care of the rest!

As one of the Food Bank of Delaware’s coordinators for the Stamp Out Hunger food drive, I volunteered to help unload postal trucks for last year’s one-day food drive (and I wanted to ensure that everything was running as smooth as possible!). I recruited some strong and willing friends and showed up at 2:00 for my shift at the Lancaster Avenue post office in Wilmington.

As volunteers, it was our job to help the letter carriers that were returning from their routes with bags of food to get them unloaded and placed on our onsite trailer. Later, the trailers were collected and weighed for our food drive total. We worked quickly, trying to clear out the postal trucks as fast as possible, so that we could move on to the next one. It was a busy few hours, but coming with a group of people made it go by quickly. Larry, our Development Director, brought his six-year-old son Brody who was happy to help out and just as willing to amuse us during down time between drop offs.

It was a great experience; I was able to assist the letter carriers on the day of their drive and help out my community, while enjoying time with friends. A big thanks goes out to Brian, Jon, Jack and Angela for making the day a blast! Each of them told me afterwards that they wanted to participate again this year and to be sure to let them know when they could sign up.

Well… sign up is now open and you can help too!

There are still shifts available on VolunteerHub at post offices throughout New Castle County. Participating offices are: Talleyville, Marshallton, Edgemoor, Johnson’s Way, Newark, Bear, Hockessin, Newport and Lancaster Avenue. Bring out a group of friends or family (kids can come too as long as they are at least seven years old!). Sign up today by clicking here!

Thank you to this year’s local sponsors!

  • Bayshore
  • Capital One
  • Agilent Technologies
  • Barclays
  • CMI Electric
  • Delmarva Power
  • DuPont
  • Giant
  • Food Lion
  • Safeway
  • Troy Granite

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Bank of America announces Family Ride, Walk or Run

???????????????????Our friends at Bank of America will hold the inaugural Family Ride, Walk or Run event at the Wilmington Grand Prix in downtown Wilmington on Saturday, May 17 at 12:45 p.m. The event will benefit the Food Bank!

“We are proud to be part of the Wilmington Grand Prix again this year and introduce an event that allows people to ride a bike, walk or run on the same course as professional cyclists from around the world,” said Chip Rossi, Delaware market president of Bank of America. “It’s a great way to connect families to some fun, healthy activities all while supporting an organization helping thousands of Delawareans put food on the table.”

The Family Ride, Walk or Run event will be held on Market Street at 12:45 p.m. with participants reporting to the start line at 12:30 p.m. Those riding their bicycles will ride three laps, a total of three miles, on the race course. Walkers will do one lap for a total of one mile and runners will complete a 5K. The cost to enter is $15 and the proceeds will be given to Food Bank of Delaware. Children under the age of 16 are free.

In addition to benefitting the Food Bank of Delaware, the team, school or organization with the most participants in the event will receive $500!

The Wilmington Grand Prix is a three-day event that kicks off with Monkey Hill Time Trials on Friday, May 16 at 5 p.m. in Brandywine Park. On Saturday, May 17, a Family Street Festival presented by DuPont will take place on Market Street from noon to 5 p.m. and a Wellness Expo presented by HighMark Delaware will take place in Rodney Square. Professional cycling races will begin at 9 a.m. and will continue throughout the day with the last race at 4 p.m. The Wilmington Grand Prix culminates with the Governor’s Ride and Gran Fondo on Sunday, May 18. Proceeds from the Governor’s Ride and Gran Fondo will benefit the Food Bank.

For more information, or to register for the Family Ride, Walk or Run, visit

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Volunteer Spotlight: Kathy Combs

Kathy Combs Volunteer SpotlightVolunteers are the heart and soul of our organization.

Kathy Combs started volunteering at the Food Bank just three weeks ago, but has already demonstrated her commitment to a hunger-free community. Kathy’s interest in hunger was sparked through a class she is currently taking at Wilmington University. She wrote a paper on food insecurity and researched the Food Bank’s impact on the local community.

“I was really interested in the Food Bank’s programs,” she explains.  “They have a lot of innovative programs that address the issue of food insecurity and hunger in Delaware. I was very impressed with just the statistic of how many people are hungry in our state. The Food Bank addresses the problem from a lot of different innovative angles. They are not just supplying food, but also [offer] a lot of innovative programs on how to get food to people.”

Kathy has been helping out in the Newark warehouse a few times each week. Some typical projects she helps with include packing bags full of weekend food for at-risk children who participate in our weekend Backpack Program and packing food boxes for senior citizens who participate in our monthly Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

Kathy says that volunteering makes her feel good.  “I enjoy meeting others here and finding out why they like to volunteer.”

She enjoys it so much that she’s working to schedule a time for both her family and coworkers to come in to help out on a Saturday.

Thank you to Kathy and the thousands of other dedicated volunteers who visit our facilities each year!

To learn more about volunteering at the Food Bank of Delaware, please visit


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Teller Wines’ wine expo benefits the Food Bank of Delaware

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

We are delighted and very grateful to be one of the beneficiaries of the 2014 Wine Expo presented by Teller Wines, Beers & Spirits.

The event, held Saturday, was a sell-out success, and guests raved about the abundant and delicious foods and wines presented for sampling.

If this had been an outdoor event, the weather would have been labeled “uncooperative.” But on a rainy, foggy, dreary Saturday afternoon, the Lewes Yacht Club was the perfect, comfortable place to be.

Paul Cullen, former Bad Company guitarist who has gained renown as a resort-area musician, provided music for the event.

Kevin and Catherine Hester, owners of Teller Wines, hosted the affair which also benefitted Coastal Concerts, a Lewes-based classical music performance organization.

Guests had the opportunity to taste more than 100 fine wines and sample delectable gourmet offerings. In addition, ticket-holders could order discount cases of wine and participate in a benefit auction.

Food Bank of Delaware Chef Instructor Tim Hunter and students from The Culinary School at the Milford branch were featured as a restaurant vendor at the event, joining Annabella’s, The Buttery, Essential Chef, Lewes Yacht Club, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Patty’s of Georgetown, Plate Catering and Touch of Italy.

Ticket-holders thanked Chef Tim as they praised the butternut squash soup and grilled salmon drizzled with mango coulis served over sweet potato hash. Portions were taste, or tapas, sized, so I’m betting that guests returned for seconds.

Thanks again to Kevin and Catherine, and also thank you to those who bought tickets.

The students who participated in the event are members of the second class at the Milford branch; graduation ceremonies are April 15.

The Culinary School is an opportunity for students to learn hands-on skills during the 14-week program. This training leads them to a 2-week paid internship in the hospitality industry, and often to a job in a restaurant or in institutional food service.

Check out some more photos from the event!



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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.

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Teller Wines to hold 2014 Wine Expo to benefit The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware

Catherine and Kevin Hester, the owners of Teller Wines, paired their love of fine wines and food with a desire to give back to the community.

The result of that effort is the 2014 Wine Expo presented by Teller Wines.

“This will benefit the Food Bank of Delaware, and The Culinary School in particular,” said Mrs. Hester. “There seemed to be a logical association.”

The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware is one of the beneficiaries of the Saturday, March 29 event held at the Lewes Yacht Club from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

“We are extremely excited to partner with Teller Wines for the 2014 Wine Expo. It will be a great opportunity to showcase the talents of our culinary students, as well as meet the loyal patrons and customers of the Teller Wines family,” said Chad Robinson, Food Bank of Delaware’s Milford Branch Director.

Guests will have the opportunity to taste more than 90 fine wines and also sample gourmet fare from Matt Haley’s Plate Catering, Nage, The Buttery, Touch of Italy, Annabella’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Patty’s of Georgetown as well as The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware.

A silent auction and 50/50 will benefit Coastal Concerts.

Tickets, at $70 each, are now available by calling 644-7400; only 150 tickets will be sold by advance sale only.

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Share a Second Helping food drive continues through February

Share a Second Helping filled barrelAnti-hunger advocates urge Delawareans to host Share a Second Helping food drives now through the end of February. The Share a Second Helping winter-long giving/awareness campaign launched in December in order to help meet the emergency food needs of Delawareans during the cold winter months. Organizers hope to collect 100,000 pounds of food by Feb. 28.

The Coalition to End Hunger, Food Bank of Delaware, Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS) and Delaware 2-1-1 encourage Delawareans to dig a little deeper this winter season to help families struggling to make ends meet. Thirty-three percent of households served by the Food Bank of Delaware’s network of hunger-relief partners oftentimes report choosing between buying groceries and paying their heating bills.

“This winter has been harsh for all of us,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “But especially for families already struggling to pay their rent/mortgage, heat their homes and put meals on the table. The cold weather, coupled with recent cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the expiration of unemployment benefits for some, has made for a very difficult winter.”

“Many of the 156,000 food assistance clients we serve at DHSS are working outside of the home,” Secretary Rita Landgraf said. “But their paychecks and their food benefits aren’t always enough. That’s why thousands of our neighbors have to turn to the Food Bank of Delaware and other community partners each month to meet their basic food needs. As this harsh winter continues and needs increase, we ask the community to help us restock the food bank and its partners through the Share a Second Helping campaign.”

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.

“Over the last few months, Delaware 2-1-1 has experienced an 11 percent increase in the number of Delawareans who have utilized our service for assistance with food in comparison to this same time last year,” said Delaware 2-1-1 Director Donna Synder-White. “I’m honored that Delaware 2-1-1 is available to serve our community by guiding our neighbors to local resources so they may provide healthy meals for their families in their time of need.”

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

“While additional resources will help hunger-relief agencies meet some increased demands, they do not address long-term solutions to the problems of poverty and hunger,” said Coalition to End Hunger Chairwoman Julie Miro Wenger. “We need to work on long-term solutions that will help those struggling to make ends meet. We have working families, seniors, veterans and children that have hunger in common. In this day and age there should be no family, senior, child or vet that has to experience hunger.”

To learn more about Share a Second Helping, please visit 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.

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Chase presents $100,000 donation at Food Bank of Delaware Culinary School graduation

CheckChase made a $100,000 donation to the Food Bank of Delaware this morning at a graduation ceremony honoring the accomplishments of nine students who successfully completed our 14-week culinary training program.

The $100,000 will be used to support student scholarships to The Culinary School, stock local school food pantries with needed supplies and provide weekend food for at-risk children through the Backpack Program.

“Chase continues to work with community organizations, such as the food bank, governments, and businesses to address the issue of unemployment and underemployment in the state of Delaware,” said Daryl Graham, Vice President of Global Philanthropy and Community Relations, JPMorgan Chase. “The Culinary School is an amazing example of the type of program that changes our community for the better everyday.”

Under the instruction of Food Bank of Delaware Chef Instructor Nicole Wilson, 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.

“We are so thankful for Chase’s focus on not only providing nourishment for children and their families, but also supporting our commitment to providing valuable job training skills that will lead to sustainable employment,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “We know one of the root causes of poverty is limited employment skills. Our Culinary School provides students with the skillset to not only thrive in the food industry, but their daily lives.”

In addition to honoring nine students who recently completed the program, The Culinary School welcomed back two past graduates who shared how the program has changed their lives.

“When we have goals set in place, achievement will come,” advised Maureen Brown, a past graduate. “I have learned to stay focused on the plan and to never give up. When life brings obstacles, overcome.”

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.

Mark Bamforth was among the nine graduates, “Socrates said, ‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’ I have come to terms with the fact that if I don’t learn from my mistakes, I am destined to repeat them,” he said.

Following today’s ceremony, guests were served a Caribbean-themed lunch prepared by the graduates. The menu featured Caribbean jerk chicken, island Beef Medallions, curry shrimp with rice and pigeon peas, Brazilian black bean stew, mango avocado salad and more.

Congratulations to the graduates!

Mark Bamforth
Khaliel Barner
Travis Bingham
Kenneth Brown
Linda Coleman
Kendall Ellis
Koren Knott
Dale McNeill
Mignon Morrow

To learn more about The Culinary School, please visit

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Delawareans donate 195,553 pounds through holiday food drive

Barton KidsBy Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

The outpouring of support from our community this holiday season was truly amazing! Thanks to Delawareans, like the Bartons, we collected 195,553 pounds for our neighbors struggling to put meals on the table through our annual holiday food drive.

For the Bartons, the holiday season extends beyond the traditional tree trimming, gift exchange and family dinner.

For the past six years, their season has included an annual food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Delaware.

This year was no exception. The four Dalton children, Parker, Sloan, Dylan and Dalton, who now range from ages 15-23, sent out a notice to the 175 families in their neighborhood west of Camden-Wyoming.

Residents are asked to leave a bag of food near their mailbox or in the garage if it’s raining.  The notice, printed on bright paper, even suggests items most needed by the Food Bank, such as cereals, peanut butter and jelly, beans and rice, pasta and things that make a holiday dinner, like cranberry sauce and stuffing mix.

This year on Dec. 15, all four Bartons piled into the family SUV and made their pick-up rounds. The first year or so, since none were old enough to drive, their mom, Elyse, took the wheel.

Since the neighbors are generous, the family must make three or four trips, returning home to unload in their own garage in between. Then they repack the car and deliver the food to the Food Bank’s Milford warehouse.

They brought their donations in on Dec. 17 in time for holiday distribution.

Over the years, they have collected more than 5,000 pounds of food; this year’s donation weighed in at 888 pounds.

“The neighbors often call if they saw us and forgot, if we missed them,” said Mrs. Barton.

“The reason this is so successful is that people want to donate, put for some people it’s hard to donate, to pack it up and take it somewhere. We make this so easy. Some people like us to do it because we are capable of doing it. We really help people do the good they want to do,” said Dylan Barton.

“We started this when Parker was 9. My hope is that they will continue,” said Mrs. Barton.

This winter we hope our community will continue to help Delawareans struggling to put meals on the table. January and February traditionally are very slow donation months for food banks. To keep the momentum going, the Food Bank of Delaware, Coalition to End Hunger, Delaware Health and Social Services and Delaware 2-1-1 have launched Share a Second Helping, a winter-long giving and awareness campaign.

Please help us collect 100,000 pounds of food by February 28. Together, we can make sure Delawareans don’t have to choose between heating their homes and buying a bag of groceries this winter season! To learn more about the campaign, please click here.



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2013 Year in Review

We’re wrapping up another successful year here at the Food Bank of Delaware. The work we’ve done to help alleviate hunger would not be possible without our supporters. The year ushered in many new initiatives including the opening of our Culinary School in Milford, a new Kraft mobile pantry vehicle, the Coalition to End Hunger and more! Check out our accomplishments over the past 12 months!

IMG_3173January: We kicked off the New Year with an invitation to attend the Governor’s inaugural ball.  Students from The Culinary School showed off their skills to a crowd of 1,800. They spent the days leading up to the event preparing more than 2,000 gourmet sirlion sliders for guests to enjoy. The night of the event, students worked alongside other members of the Delaware Restaurant Association. They were in the company of restaurants like Iron Hill Brewery, Harry’s Savoy Grill, Buckley’s Tavern, Nage, Pizza By Elizabeth’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Abbott’s Grill and many more! It was a great opportunity for students to network with others in the industry and demonstrate their abilities.

February: Giant Food announced in February that the Food Bank of Delaware was among five Feeding America food banks to receive funding for programs to alleviate childhood hunger. Giant has committed $300,000 over the next three years to our summer Grab and Go meal program for children at-risk of hunger. The program closes the meal gap for children who are not able to participate in the traditional Summer Food Service Program.

IMG_2614March: We unveiled our brand-new Kraft mobile pantry vehicle in March. The truck donation was part of a nationwide fleet being rolled out by the Kraft Foods Foundation. We celebrated this new vehicle with a special mobile food distribution outside Westside Family Healthcare in Dover. Thirty-five families attended an educational session followed by the opportunity to choose foods most needed for their household. The mobile pantry will bring more than 650,000 pounds of good nutrition – that’s nearly 780,000 meals– to the area’s hungry residents each year, at a time when the need has never been greater.

Senators signing bannerApril: April was a busy month as we held our first-ever Ending Hunger Through Citizen Service conference and our annual dinner. More than 250 anti-hunger advocates gathered at the Christiana Hilton on Monday, April 15 to learn best practices for ending hunger in the state of Delaware. The all-day conference, sponsored locally by the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services and presented by the Delaware Anti-Hunger Coalition, focused on ways to increase access to and participation in children’s nutrition programs, innovative strategies for providing more nutritious foods and recruiting and applying volunteer talent. Guest speakers included Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, Congressman John Carney, Lt. Governor Matt Denn, First Lady Carla Markell, Delaware Health and Social Services Cabinet Secretary Rita Landgraf, Delaware Department of Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Ed Kee and more.

IMG_1727The month’s flurry of activity continued with our annual dinner on April 26. More than 150 supporters packed our Newark warehouse for an evening of entertainment from Pearl Street and a dinner prepared by students from The Culinary School. The evening closed with recognizing eight outstanding organizations/individuals.

DSC_0029May: A full line up of events continued through the month of May. The annual Grand Prix weekend took place May 17-19. Five-hundred associates from JPMorgan Chase spent Friday evening packing 30,000 meals for children and seniors as part of Chase’s commitment to alleviating hunger in the First State. The volunteer event took place as part of the Wilmington Grand Prix weekend festivities. While 200 cyclists competed against the clock and cobblestones of Monkey Hill, Chase volunteers packed more than 4,000 bags of food for our children’s Backpack Program and more than 20,000 meals for seniors at risk of hunger!

093We closed out the month with a visit from NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon. Officials from Chase and AARP Drive to End Hunger were on hand to present a donation of 36,000 meals to distribute to area senior citizens. The donations consisted of the meals packaged during Chase’s May 17 Grand Prix food packing event, as well as meals that were later packed by NASCAR fans at the Dover International Speedway race on Sunday, June 2.

Farmers MarketJune: We officially kicked off our Community Supported Agriculture program on June 20 at the Wilmington Farmers’ Market at Cool Springs Park. Through the new program we were able to provide low-cost produce shares to Delawareans in need. Participating households visited the market each week to pick up their full or half share and also received additional “coins” that could be used at other produce vendors in the market. The program also offered produce shares to members of the community for a cost of $250 or $500 for the entire growing season.

064Five days later, Congressman John Carney visited our Milford Branch as part of his SNAP challenge week. During his visit he spoke with senior citizens who currently depend on SNAP benefits to make ends meet. In addition, he attended a SNAP-education nutrition class and helped distribute food from our mobile pantry vehicle. From June 18-June 25 Congressman Carney lived off a food budget of $4.50 per day, the average budget for people living on SNAP benefits, to learn more about the challenges of Delaware families struggling to get by and to gain a better understanding of the current structure of the program.

FoodBank_ CheckPresentation_4July: Bank of America announced in July at the Northeast State Service Center that it’s playing a role in alleviating hunger by donating $50,000 to our mobile pantry program. Fifteen Bank of America employees were on hand at a morning pantry to distribute food to 35 area families at risk of hunger. Just prior to the food distribution, bank employees presented an education session on financial literacy to pantry participants.

August: Students from The Culinary School participated in the first-ever Taste of Rehoboth. The event featured food, wine and beer samplings from some of the best restaurants Delaware has to offer. Students had the opportunity to work alongside some of Delaware’s best chefs. The event, sponsored by the Rehoboth Inspired Chef Iniative, raised $11,500 for The Culinary School in Milford.

Ribbon CuttingSeptember: We celebrated the grand opening of our expanded Milford Branch on September 20. The $2.6 million expansion includes the new Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware Culinary Kitchen, DuPont Volunteer Room and Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Culinary Classroom. The expansion doubles the size of the existing 8,000-square-foot warehouse. The project, designed by Delaware Architects, and managed by Richard Y Johnson & Son, allows us to increase hunger-relief programming through the creation of a new volunteer room and train adults for the food service industry and prepare meals for our Children’s Nutrition program through the new industrial-sized kitchen.

130webSeptember’s Hunger Action Month also coincided with the official relaunch of the Coalition to End Hunger (formerly the Anti-Hunger Coalition). Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn and Delaware Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Kee joined the Coalition to End Hunger at Highland Orchards to announce the coalition’s priorities for the coming year. The mission of the Coalition to End Hunger is to coordinate the collaborative development of an equitable, accessible and just regional food system for the state of Delaware’s New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties. The Coalition will focus on four areas in the coming year – increasing access to school breakfast for Delaware’s children, advocacy, healthy food financing and connecting area farmers to low-income Delawareans.

October: The annual Blue Jean Ball took place on Saturday, October 5. A new event format offered attendees entry at a lower price and a delicious Oktoberfest-themed menu from Iron Hill Brewery. Food stations were set up throughout the warehouse and each menu item was carefully paired with an Oktoberfest brew straight from Iron Hill! More than 250 attendees danced the night away to the sounds of Club Phred.

We ended the month with our DelawareCAN competition. A panel of judges from the Food Bank visited 15 schools and organizations to crown this year’s winners! 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 total we collected more than 46,000 pounds of food.

November: On November 20, AARP and the Food Bank of Delaware collaborated to produce, “Framing Hunger in Delaware,” a thought leadership roundtable discussion to help identify and find solutions to issues on hunger in Delaware. With the help of News Journal Executive Editor David Ledford as moderator, twenty-five corporate, non-profit and government leaders including representatives from all three Congressional offices, joined the discussion to help all the partners learn about hunger-related issues here in Delaware and in Washington D.C.  Top priorities of the discussion included the Farm Bill, proposed federal cuts to SNAP and the effects of Delaware’s budget on the 50+ population and hunger.

December: Anti-hunger advocates gathered on Friday, December 13 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. 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, campaign organizers encourage individuals, businesses, community-based organizations, schools, faith-based organizations and others to host winter-long food drives and fundraisers.

TCSgroupWe also celebrated the first graduating class of The Culinary School at the Milford Branch. Under the instruction of Food Bank of Delaware Chef Instructor Tim Hunter and the guidance of Brenda Palomo, Culinary School  program manager, 11 students spent 14 weeks developing their skills and passion for the culinary arts. In addition to learning hands-on skills in the food bank’s industrial-sized kitchen, the students took field trips to food processing plants and urban food markets, these students also worked in preparing and serving at Dinner in the Orchard and for a Trustees of Color reception.

As you can see, it’s been a great year at the Food Bank of Delaware! Thank you for your commitment to our vision of a community free of hunger! Here’s to a hunger-free 2014!

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