Category Archives: Supporters

Food Bank of Delaware and University of Delaware to host sixth annual Evening in the Garden

The Food Bank of Delaware and University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) will work together to raise money to alleviate hunger in the First State with their sixth annual Evening in the Garden event on Thursday, September 4 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The evening’s menu includes garden-fresh foods straight from the university’s Garden for the Community. Students and chefs from The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware will serve peppers stuffed with shrimp, grilled corn and quinoa, braised chicken with tomatoes and peppers, eggplant stuffed with Italian cheeses and more in a food station set-up. The UDairy Creamery will scoop ice cream.

The evening will also feature wine and beer tastings, live entertainment from The Ellen Lebowitz Quartet, a four-piece Jazz group with piano, drums, bass and voice and tours of the Garden of the Community.

“Our annual Evening in the Garden event is a great opportunity for us to showcase the skills of our talented students from The Culinary School,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “Workforce development is important to us at the food bank, and this annual event gives students real-world experience working a catered fundraising event.”

Tickets for the event are $40/person or $20/student (must show student ID). The price includes dinner, wine, beer and entertainment. Attendees must RSVP by August 25. If tickets are available after the RSVP deadline, price increases by $10.

To purchase tickets, please contact Kim Turner at (302) 444-8074 or Online registration is also available at Attendees are also asked to bring a bag of canned goods for the food bank’s hunger-relief efforts.

To learn more about the Garden for the Community, please visit

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Food Donor Spotlight: Vanguard

By Caitlin Custer, Donor Outreach Coordinator

On July 14, Vanguard held its 18th annual All Cans on Deck food drive in Malvern, Pennsylvania. This is the second year I have had the pleasure of attending, and it did not disappoint! This is a nationwide food drive among Vanguard offices that exemplifies their core values of Crew, Clients and Community. The drive benefits multiple organizations including local food banks, crisis centers and meal programs. Worldwide, Vanguard raised 414 tons of food, or around 828,000 pounds!

Food drives like Vanguard’s come at a crucial time during the summer when donations are down and pantry shelves are beginning to become bare, and while the bulk of our food drives are held during the fall and winter months, we desperately need donations throughout the spring and summer as well.

Each year employees take part in different events and food drive activities to raise the donations needed to give out to their community. This year crew members, as they are called, created can structures from their items (much like our DelawareCAN competition coming up in September) and building captains created a mini-golf course out of cans. There were also karaoke and free- throw contests to engage crew members and create involvement around the issue of hunger in the Delaware Valley. The management team also sponsored barbecue lunches, and there were dunk tanks set up with managers offering themselves up to be dunked for donations, which were used to purchase items for each organization.

Vanguard stepped in this year and offered to provide items specifically for our Backpack program along with their donation of canned goods. The Backpack Program offers students across the state that rely on the federal school lunch program for meals during the school week, the ability to take a kit home which provides four meals and two snacks to keep them fed over the weekend. Some of the other items, like cases of canned green beans, peas and corn will be used in our Thanksgiving for All holiday meal boxes.

Vanguard’s total donation this year brought in a whopping 43,893 pounds for the Food Bank of Delaware! We needed three trucks to bring all of the donations back! Luckily, Angel (Fleet and Routing Coordinator), Brian (Lead Warehouse Associate) and Bryan (Driver) were each available to drive a truck up that morning, but we still had to go back for one more round. We were fortunate again this year that Vanguard crew members were able to come to the Food Bank the next morning to volunteer and sort through some of their donations so we can get it out as quickly as possible.

Congratulations to Vanguard for beating their record from last year; we appreciate all of the pounds and hours donated!

If you would like to hold a food drive, please contact me at!

Check out some more pictures from All Cans on Deck!

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Food Lion Feeds Hunger Relief Day at the Delaware State Fair

By Kim Turner, Communications Director

On Monday Food Bank of Delaware staff members headed to the Delaware State Fair for the third annual Food Lion Feeds Hunger Relief Day! It’s one of my favorite days of the year at the Food Bank. Attendees who brought five Food Lion store brand cans received one free gate admission! As fairgoers filtered in from the parking lots, so many hands were filled with plastic bags loaded with canned goods!

One-by-one, volunteers from Food Lion and the Food Bank of Delaware, emptied bags of canned goods into large tote-sized boxes. By 11:00 a.m. we had already collected close to 2,000 pounds of food! The response from our community was truly amazing. We are happy to report that in just one day we collected 21,865 pounds – 933 pounds more than last year!

In addition to greeting fairgoers, we also had an opportunity to enjoy all that the fair has to offer! New this year, three Food Bank of Delaware staff members presented healthy cooking demonstrations throughout the day!

First up was Alina Wade, our Community Nutrition Educator. As Alina wired her lavalier microphone and organized her ingredients, a small crowd started to gather around the demonstration kitchen. At 11 a.m. it was show time! Alina demonstrated how easy it is to make healthy oatmeal blueberry pancakes. She combined bananas, oatmeal, egg whites, honey, cinnamon and blueberries in the blender. Once everything was blended, it was time to pour the batter out on the griddle. A few minutes later the pancakes were ready! The healthy pancakes received rave reviews from attendees!

While we waited for Tim Hunter, our Chef Instructor at The Culinary School at the Milford Branch, to demonstrate how to make a cool cucumber mango soup, we enjoyed a Kimo’s snow cone, Milford Branch Director Chad Robinson’s interview with television station WMDT 47 and more can collecting!

The clock hit 1:00 p.m. and we were ready for Chef Tim’s cooking demonstration. Tim peeled and cut fresh mangos, red onions and cucumbers. Showing off his skills, Chef Tim amazed the audience with his knife skills! After everything was chopped he used an immersion blender to incorporate all of the ingredients. Tim showed how easy it is to make healthy, homemade soups. In no time, the cucumber mango soup was ready for sampling!

While we waited for Community Nutrition Educator Asia Thurston’s 3:00 p.m. demonstration, how to make a “Delaware Summer Salad,” we dined at the Delaware Farm Bureau stand, had another snow cone :) and collected more cans! As the afternoon progressed, more attendees began to filter in with donations!

When 3:00 p.m. rolled around, we were ready for Asia’s demonstration. She made a beautful Delaware Summer Salad consisting of fresh, local kale, spinach, strawberries, clementine oranges, almonds, goat cheese, chicken and a homemade strawberry vinaigrette. Asia showed audience members how easy it is to eat fresh, healthy foods! In addition, she stressed that we should be eating the colors of the rainbow. She clarified that by rainbow she did not mean skittles! Eating healthy foods of all different colors enables our bodies to get the needed nutrients.

After Asia’s demonstration it was almost time to leave the fair. Before we left, Food Bank of Delaware Operations Director Trevor Turner, tried his luck at the fish bowl game. After throwing almost 20 ping-pong balls, Trevor landed one in a small fish bowl! He won a gold fish and named him Franklin Turner.

We had a great day at the State Fair; in addition to collecting much-needed food for residents of Kent and Sussex Counties, we also showed fairgoers that we do more than just collect food, we also empower Delawareans by providing important educational opportunities about healthy eating on a limited budget and workforce development through the culinary arts.

Check out some more pictures from our day at the Delaware State Fair!





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Monday is Food Lion Feeds Hunger Relief Day at the Delaware State Fair

State FairThe third annual “Food Lion Feeds Hunger Relief Day” will take place on Monday, July 21 at the Delaware State Fair!

Fair attendees who bring five Food Lion brand canned goods will in exchange receive one free gate admittance to the Delaware State Fair from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., on Monday, July 21. The community effort is part of the third annual “Food Lion Feeds Hunger Relief Day” at the Delaware State Fair.

“At Food Lion, we believe no one should have to choose between dinner and paying rent or gasoline and buying groceries,” said Bob Mills, Food Lion director of execution and implementation for the Dover, Del. area. “That’s why we’re so passionate about our renewed focus on ending hunger and working to make the lines shorter at local feeding agencies through Food Lion Feeds. Last year’s hunger relief day helped to provide approximately 17,000 meals for hungry families in Kent and Sussex Counties, and we hope to exceed that donation this year with the help of our customers.”

Donations received through this year’s effort will assist families in Kent and Sussex Counties struggling to put food on the table.

“We are thrilled to continue this partnership with Food Lion and the Delaware State Fair,” said Food Bank of Delaware Milford Branch Director Chad Robinson. “It was incredible to see the excitement from our community for this annual food drive. Over the past two years we have collected more than 42,000 meals. We hope to exceed last year’s total!”

“Our goal this year is to pass last year’s amazing number and hopefully bring in more than 27,000 meals. This is such an amazing project to be a part of and we thank Food Lion for making this food drive possible through its partnership with the Delaware State Fair,” said Assistant General Manager and Director of Marketing Danny Aguilar

Volunteers from Food Lion and the Food Bank of Delaware will accept donations at all gates. No items stored in glass will be accepted. Some of the Food Bank of Delaware’s most-needed items include the following:

  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Canned soups
  • Tuna fish
  • Peanut butter
  • Canned meats
  • Cereal

For more information about the Delaware State Fair, please visit

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St. Anne’s Episcopal School second graders purchase $1,629 worth of food for Food Bank of Delaware

By Kim Turner, Communications Director

Last month an enthusiastic group of second graders from St. Anne’s Episcopal School in Middletown visited our Newark facility to tour and drop off 1,262 pounds of food! They raised $1,629 and used the money to purchase an assortment of our most-needed items!

The students raised the money by hosting their own in-school book store. The book store served as the second grade’s annual service learning project. The project incorporated learning about economic concepts such as goods and services, consumers and producers, income, expenses and profit. More importantly, the students learned the value of giving.

The book store itself was the culmination of several weeks of work. This annual service project is integrated into the second grade curriculum starting with the identification of charities submitted by the students and a grade level vote to select the recipient of the bookstore profits. Students took a field trip to 2nd & Charles in Newark, DE to learn the book store business and all of the different jobs required. “I was surprised that a manager can get fired,” said one second grader. Another student learned that sometimes books are priced under retail in order to attract customers.

When they returned to school, the students discussed their trip, learned how they could apply their findings at their own school and applied for positions at their bookstore. The students also planned their marketing strategies, named their bookstore, and created signs and sandwich boards to advertise. With the help of second grade parents who sorted and priced the gently used donations and helped with set up and supervision, the students ran the four day book sale from April 29th to May 2nd. They worked as cashiers, salespeople, advertisers, baggers, managers, “holds” takers and accountants.

When the second graders visited us last month we were so proud and appreciative of their hard work and enthusiasm.  As the students got off the bus, they helped unload two vehicles filled with the fruits of their labor. After unloading the vehicles, the students enjoyed a tour of our 36,000-square-foot warehouse. They were impressed by our operation, especially by the size of our refrigerators and freezer. They were respectful, eager and had great questions!

Thank you, St. Anne’s second graders, for your hard work!

Here are some more pictures from the book store and Food Bank visit:






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TD Charitable Foundation announces $95,000 donation to Food Bank of Delaware

TD check presentationThe TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, announced a $95,000 donation to the Food Bank of Delaware at an evening event held yesterday at Stubbs Elementary School in Wilmington.

Fifty-thousand dollars will be used to help fund our mobile pantry program, while the remaining will be used towards other hunger-relief efforts. Our 30-foot-long mobile pantry truck features both dry and cold storage and is stocked to meet the needs of the state’s most-vulnerable communities.

“TD recognizes the critical need to feed our neighbors,” said Terry Kenny, TD Bank Market President for Delaware. “We are proud to contribute to the crucial work the Food Bank of Delaware does in the area through this TD Charitable Foundation grant, and hope it will help support the needs of many in Delaware.”

Volunteers from the bank and the University of Delaware read stories to children, while adults participated in a financial literacy class facilitated by a TD employee. At the conclusion of the financial literacy class, parents were invited to visit the pantry.

Attendees walked away with close to 100 pounds of food including fresh produce, chicken, an emergency meal box filled with 30 pounds of nonperishables and assorted foods of their choosing.

“We are incredibly grateful for the TD Charitable Foundation’s support of our efforts to alleviate hunger in Delaware,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “The mobile pantry is an important program as it allows us to travel directly to some of our state’s most at-risk communities.”

Since the mobile pantry hit the road last March, close to 374,000 pounds of food have been distributed to more than 4,000 households.


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Starbucks volunteers pack 7,500 meals at Milford Branch

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

Last Wednesday, Delawareans at risk of hunger benefitted from a dedicated team of 28 volunteers from Starbucks (also our 2014 Group Volunteer of the Year!) who came out to spend a morning at our Milford Branch.

There was a sense of enthusiasm in the Bistro as the green-shirted team members listened to a warm welcome from Chad Robinson, the Milford Branch Director. Matt Brandi, volunteer coordinator, explained the day’s work assignment.

Before heading to the volunteer room, Dana Krieg, a Rehoboth Starbucks store manager, took volunteers on a coffee journey to the mountainous regions of Peru in an exquisite Starbucks Reserve “Cold Press” tasting paired with a delicate combination of both sweet and savory offerings.

After the tasting, the group headed to the volunteer room.

Starbucks partners really embraced the challenge as they sorted, packed and stacked a record-breaking meal count: 7,500 meals or 9,000 pounds.

Jeff Danley, regional district manager for Starbucks in Delaware and Maryland, reports that to date, this event contributed to the now over 32,000 packed meals processed by the Starbucks and SiTEL families (one of Starbucks’ vendors!).

When all the work was finished, volunteers were treated to a fantastic lunch prepared by Chef Tim Hunter and the newest class of culinary students.

The Food Bank of Delaware appreciates the positive attitudes and helping hands of each and every volunteer. Anyone who is interested in contributing as a volunteer can find more information on our website by clicking here!

Check out more pictures from Starbucks’ volunteer day!

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Culinary Spotlight: Graduate Phillip Kizer and Chef Hari Cameron of a(MUSE.)

0424_phillip3By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

Phillip Kizer (on the left in the photo) has an opportunity many would covet: he’s working at
a(MUSE.), one of the Delaware resort’s most highly-acclaimed restaurants.

Phillip, 22, of Dover, is a recent graduate of the Food Bank of Delaware’s Culinary School in Milford’s second class.

On the day of our visit to the Baltimore Avenue restaurant in Rehoboth Beach, Chef Hari Cameron prepared the staff meal with an Indian theme, so while we talked we savored lentil dal, rice seasoned with rice syrup and cardamom accompanied by raita.

Hari says he’s pleased to mentor Phillip.

“There’s a long-standing tradition of mentorship,” he said, adding that early in his career he was mentored by chefs at Ram’s Head and Kevin Reading, formerly of Nage’ and now at Abbott’s Grill in Milford.

“I was a blank canvas,” said Hari.

“You can teach knowledge but you can’t teach a sense of urgency. It’s a race against the clock, the ability to do both, push yourself forward and do it faster,” he said.

“It’s about coming into work with your head and mind in the right place.”

Phillip takes notes at work; he is expected to bring his notebook and pen, and this chef expects him to follow directions.

“It’s a team effort. Each person is doing their job, and the person who is the newest gets support. I’m never going to yell at Phillip,” said Hari.

“It’s also about discipline. For example, Phillip had to spend an hour shelling fava beans,” he added.

While the tedious task of shelling those beans might not be the most glamorous work, it’s all part of the learning curve for Phillip.

He’s also learning other aspects of the culinary world, making stock, turning vegetables, how to plate. He’s tried new and different foods.

“I don’t quit and I try to work hard. Even if it’s hard, I keep going,” Phillip said.

He also has a new goal: working in Europe.

“Everyone in the kitchen talks about their experience in Europe, that it made them that much better. I want to go to culinary school and study abroad,” he said.

And who knows where his dream will take him?


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Volunteer Spotlight: Kayla White

Kayla WhiteApril is Volunteer Appreciation month, but here at the Food Bank of Delaware we appreciate and love our volunteers every month out of the year! We can’t serve one in four Delawareans without their support.

To date this year, we have had 16,219 volunteer visits for a total of 44,030 donated hours! Volunteers come to the Food Bank for a multitude of reasons. Some volunteers come during the work day as part of a corporate team, others are members of scout troops or faith-based organizations, while some are students who need community service hours. Regardless of their reason for being at the Food Bank of Delaware, we appreciate the contributions of all of our volunteers.

Kayla White falls into the student community service hour category. She started volunteering at the Food Bank in mid-December as part of her Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management program at the University of Delaware. Her reasons for choosing the Food Bank of Delaware were simple – the Food Bank is close to her home!

Kayla can be found in the Newark volunteer room on Mondays or Wednesdays. She’s done a little bit of everything, including sorting donated food, packing emergency meal boxes and plastic bags for the Backpack Program and more!

“I like to give back to those who are not fortunate to have a meal everyday,” she says. “It makes me feel good to volunteer and makes me appreciate what I have. No matter how bad you think you have it, someone else has it worse. We all might as well help while we can.”

Thank you, Kayla, for your contributions!

Are you a student in need of community service hours? The Food Bank of Delaware has flexible volunteer hours with a variety of dates and times! As we head into the summer months, we will need volunteers to help us prepare and pack meals for children who participate in our Summer Nutrition Program! To learn more, visit



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Food Bank of Delaware honors outstanding supporters at annual dinner

Last night we honored ten supporters who have played a critical role in the organization’s efforts to alleviate hunger in Delaware this year! More than 125 guests joined us at our newly-expanded Milford Branch to celebrate our accomplishments. A delicious dinner was prepared by Chef Tim Hunter and past graduates of The Culinary School at our Milford Branch!

This year’s honorees include:

Volunteer of the Year – Mary McGowan: Mary McGowan is dedicated to the mission of the Food Bank of Delaware. She has been volunteering at the Newark facility since March 2012 and has donated more than 1,000 hours to the organization. Mary volunteers at the Food Bank several times a week and helps with a variety of tasks including sorting foods, packing emergency meal boxes, packing bags for the Backpack Program, stocking shelves, preparing meals for our children’s nutrition programs and much more.

Board Member of the Year – Scott Sukeena: Board Member Scott Sukeena has been on the Food Bank of Delaware Board of Directors for more than seven years. He served as Chairman of the Board for two of those years. As Senior Vice President of Commercial Enterprise Banking at Citizens Bank, Scott brings a wealth of financial expertise to the Food Bank’s board. He serves on the Financial Committee and works with key Food Bank of Delaware staff and board members to ensure that the organization’s financials are healthy.

Corporate Donor of the Year – TD Bank: TD Bank has significantly increased their level of support over the past two years helping to fund an array of programs. Their contributions have totaled $156,000. TD Bank supports the following programs/initiatives: Mobile Pantry Program, Backpack Program, Coalition to End Hunger, Blue Jean Ball and Ending Hunger Conference. TD Bank has successfully engaged their employees in unique ways to address the issue of hunger in Delaware, including participation in DelawareCAN.

Group Volunteer of the Year – Starbucks: Since the new volunteer room at the Milford Branch opened in September, Starbucks has regularly volunteered. The group is so engaged that they have even brought one of their customer service vendors, SITEL, on board to volunteer alongside with the coffee-loving team. Together, Starbucks and SITEL have had a total of 69 individual visits for a total of 224 hours and packed more than 25,000 meals.

Legislator of the Year – Senator Colin Bonini: Senator Bonini has been an advocate for the Food Bank of Delaware and numerous other community organizations. Senator Bonini was instrumental in the completion of our Milford Expansion. This past September, he spoke at our Milford Expansion grand opening event, where he provided a demonstration of his gratitude for the work of the Food Bank of Delaware.

Advocate of the Year – Karen Williams: As a social studies teacher at Lake Forest High School in Felton, Karen makes it a priority to educate her students about the problems of hunger in Delaware. William’s Leadership class at the high school frequently volunteers at the food bank’s Milford Branch and the Lake Forest Church Association, one of the Food Bank’s Hunger-Relief Partners. As a result of Karen’s leadership, Lake Forest High School was one of the first schools in the state to start an in-school food pantry.

Partner of the Year – Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant: Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant has significantly increased its support of the Food Bank of Delaware in recent years. Iron Hill first became involved with the organization through The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware. Serving as a member of the advisory committee, Iron Hill helped develop the school’s earliest curriculum and advised on topics that were relevant to Delaware’s restaurant owners and operators.

Retailer of the Year – Walmart: The Food Bank of Delaware honors Walmart as its Retailer of the Year. Over the past five years, Walmart has donated more than 1,376,000 pounds of fresh foods to Delawareans struggling to put meals on the table. Using a refrigerated truck, donated by Walmart, Food Bank of Delaware drivers pick up from 10 Walmart stores up and down the state each week. Walmart donates a variety of foods including bakery items, fresh produce, meats and more. In addition to donating the truck and fresh foods, Walmart has donated more than $300,000 to Food Bank programming over the past five years

Food Donor of the Year – Lunch with a Purpose: The ladies of Lunch with a Purpose are making a difference in the community. On the first Friday of the month from September to May, 250 ladies attend the special luncheon in Sussex County. Each month a different charity partner is highlighted, but a canned good drive for the Food Bank remains a constant. Since 2010, the group has collected close to 20,000 pounds of food for the Food Bank through the monthly luncheon.

Hunger-Relief Partner of the Year – Calvary Assembly of God: Calvary Assembly of God in Dover offers a wide variety of programs to meet the community’s most basic of needs, food. Through partnership with the Food Bank of Delaware, Calvary hosts the Food Bank’s mobile pantry truck two times a month, holds a monthly food box distribution for senior citizens through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program and operates a weekly food closet program for those in need.

Check out some photos from the evening!

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