Category Archives: Volunteer

Volunteering at the Milford Branch

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

Lyndsay Humphreys, volunteer coordinator at the Food Bank of Delaware’s Milford branch, had to hit the ground running when she started her new job here Memorial Day weekend.

Summer is the busiest time of year for the Food Bank because that’s when summer meal programs start up. Volunteers are needed to prepare and pack meals in four-hour shifts each and every weekday. Meals are distributed throughout the state to kids who may not have access to nutritious meals when school is not in session.

This is not only Lynday’s first summer of meal production and packing, but the Food Bank’s first time preparing and packing summer meals in our brand-new kitchen and volunteer room! Thanks to generous donors, we completed our $2.6 million capital campaign last summer and cut the ribbon on our newly-expanded building in September 2013.

Lyndsay, a resident of Georgetown, is no stranger to working with the volunteers who keep the operation going effectively.

She came to the Food Bank of Delaware from another non-profit agency, Sussex County Habitat for Humanity, where she worked as volunteer coordinator.

An AmericCorps alumna, Lyndsay shares a great story about how she became involved in not-for-profit work.

“When I was 14, I took a mission trip with my church to Appalachia, and I fell in love with service. It was a major life-changing event,” Lyndsay said, describing her experience in Appalachia.

She continued to volunteer through high school, and then signed up with AmeriCorps, a national program that provides career paths through service positions. AmeriCorps members also earn money for their education.

Her church, Grace United Methodist Church in Millsboro, goes on a mission trip every other year, and this year, Lyndsay led the group of 30 volunteers.

Lyndsay’s job is active and very physical, but this mother of two young children likes that.

“I rarely sit down, and I like being all over the place, doing three things at once. I like talking to people. Every four hours, new people walk through the door. It’s nice meeting new people,” she said.

Because of her own personal experience, Lyndsay is well aware that for many young volunteers their time packing and sorting at the Food Bank might be their first foray into the world of serving others.

“With the kids, I am planting a seed, and I told them that this could have a big impact later on. I encourage youth to come in. This is the busiest time of year, and there is so much we could be capable of doing if we had the volunteers. It doesn’t matter if they are 7 or 107, they can come in,” she said.

“In a four-hour time slot, you feel like you’ve made a difference.”

Volunteers are needed all year-round at the Milford Branch. Volunteer activities range from preparing and packing meals for children, to sorting food donations and packing meal boxes. Want to join Lyndsay in the volunteer room at the Milford Branch?  View all of our available volunteer hours and sign up to help by visiting http://www.fbd.volunteerhub.com.

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Grab and Go summer meal program at High Point Mobile Home Park

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

It didn’t matter that the thermometer registered at least 90 degrees and the heat index was 101.

Gaij Copes was ready to lend a hand at the Food Bank of Delaware’s Grab and Go program in his neighborhood.

Gaij, age 12, will enter the 7th grade at W.T. Chipman Middle School in Harrington this fall, but he’s no stranger to volunteering.

Missy Holochwost, Senior Nutrition Coordinator/Mobile Pantry Coordinator for the Food Bank of Delaware, is his mother.

The Summer Grab and Go Program complements the Food Bank’s existing nutrition services to reach an underserved population of children who are unable to access our Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) at traditional distribution sites.

Providing adequate nutrition during the 10-week summer vacation is a challenge as these children scatter throughout the community with limited or no access to summer nutrition programs.

Children who reside in rural or isolated settings are unable to benefit from the meals provided at traditional SFSP meal distribution sites.

Such is the case at High Point Mobile Home Park, a community of 406 homes located adjacent to the state’s major north-south highway, but not within safe walking distance of a school or church.

So five days a week, Gaij rides his bike to meet the Food Bank van where he helps the driver unload coolers and checks off those who are enrolled in the program as they pick up breakfast, lunch and beverages.

Because of his mother’s work, Gaij is familiar with the Food Bank’s mission.

“I like helping people,” he said, adding that he also assisted in the sign-up process by delivering flyers with enrollment information door to door.

As a result, at High Point, there are 27 signed up and a waiting list of 10.

Bob, the site manager at High Point, praised the Grab and Go program.

“I like the program, and I’m glad people are talking advantage. It’s running smooth, and for me, it’s nothing extra,” he said.

The current program has been made possible by a 3-year, $300,000 grant provide by the Our Family Foundation.

 

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Summer volunteers needed

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

Volunteers are needed at the Food Bank of Delaware’s Newark and Milford facilities to help assemble and pack meals for children enrolled in various summer programs.

Sign up is easy and can be done online. To volunteer to help with the Summer Food Service Program, members of the community may visit www.fbd.volunteerhub.com and sign up for a shift during the months of June (starting June 13), July or August (program ends in the middle of the month).

“Our volunteers are so important to us at the Food Bank of Delaware, and obviously to children throughout the state,” said our President and CEO Patricia Beebe.

“Nutritious meals that are also appealing to kids are delivered to child-care facilities, children’s programs, summer camps, faith-based organizations, neighborhoods and more. For children in need, these meals are essential to their health and success,” she added.

No experience is necessary, but volunteers should be able to stand for extended periods of time. Shifts are operated throughout the day Monday through Friday and some occasional weeknights and weekends.

The Summer Food Service Program, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture and administered by the Delaware Department of Education, provides breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks to low-income children in the summer when access to free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch meal programs are not available.

To help bridge the nutrition gap during the summer months, the Food Bank provides these nutritious meals for sites that feed hungry children.

This summer, the Food Bank of Delaware will deliver more than 200,000 meals to children during the 10-week program. To learn more about becoming a children’s nutrition site, contact Dan Jackson, Hunger Relief Coordinator at (302) 444-8128 or djackson@fbd.org.

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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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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 http://www.fbd.volunteerhub.com.

 

 

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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 http://www.fbd.volunteerhub.com.

 

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Volunteer Spotlight: Sister Jackie Hood and Sister Yasmin Ransom

0328_volunteer photoBy Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

April is volunteer appreciation month! We can’t feed one in four Delawareans without the dedication of volunteers.

Our volunteers lend a hand for many reasons and come from all walks of life.

Even so, it is a bit of a surprise to learn that two young ladies who help pack children’s meals on a weekly basis at the Milford branch are thousands of miles away from home.

Sister Jackie Hood is from Farmington, Utah and Sister Yasmin Ransom hails from Fresno, California.

Currently residents of nearby Harrington, they are a missionary team with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

It was somewhat serendipitous that they selected the Food Bank as part of their service.

Sister Ransom said the two were driving by and happened to see the sign from Airport Road.

“We were encouraged to service,” she said. “We pretty much do whatever is asked.”

So for the past nine weeks, the two missionaries come once a week. In addition to their other daily church-related responsibilities, they help out at the state-sponsored Job Center in Harrington.

Sister Hood and Sister Ransom said they were called into the 18-month mission to teach the gospel face to face and to introduce people to their church.

Matthew Brandi, volunteer coordinator at the Milford branch, says he welcomes these volunteers.

“They come in, and they know what to do,” he said.

Volunteers are always needed, and new volunteers can sign up online. Visit our online scheduling site, http://www.fbd.volunteerhub.com, or contact the volunteer coordinator at (302) 393-2011 or volunteerinmilford@fbd.org. For opportunities in New Castle County, please contact (302) 444-8075 or volunteer@fbd.org.

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