Filling Hungry Tummies Over the Summer Months

By Crystal Timmons, Milford Branch Manager

For the past three years I have directed the Children’s Nutrition Programs here at the Food Bank of Delaware. Since that time I have witnessed a large increase in the number of children in need.  This year it has reached an all-time high with 8,500 more children being eligible for free lunch programs in our schools. 

What does this mean to Food Bank of Delaware?  It means that too many children and their families are faced with food insecurities.  Already tight budgets are being stretched to the breaking point.  More than 126,000 children in Delaware receive  free or and reduced-price lunch during the school year; however we are only reaching 27 percent of these children during the summer months through the Summer Food Service Program. There will be many children in our state running around this summer without proper nutrition.  At the Food Bank of Delaware we are focused on feeding more children and ensuring that no child goes hungry. 

We can’t do it alone though. We need the community’s support!  To help bridge the nutrition gap this summer, we will sponsor the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). SFSP is a federally-funded program operated nationally by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and locally by the Delaware Department of Education.

 Beginning June 14 we will prepare and distribute more than 9,000 free meals a day to qualified children’s feeding sites throughout the state. Sites include faith-based organizations, summer camps, daycares and other centers where children congregate during the summer months. This year the program will also be extended to low-income neighborhoods. To host a neighborhood program, an adult must contact us for an application to determine eligibility, attend a training session and submit weekly paperwork.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can help alleviate childhood hunger in your community. Sites in Sussex County may call me directly at (302) 393-2010 or email me at ctimmons@fbd.org. Sites in New Castle County may call Stacy Stevens at (302) 444-8128 or email her at sstevens@fbd.org

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Filed under Children's Nutrition, Hunger, Poverty, Programs

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