Brrr! Not only has it been down right cold here in the First State, but we’ve been clobbered with storm after storm. Has Mother Nature put a damper on your checkbook this winter? Between home heating costs and rising gas prices, budgets are being stretched thin, especially for families and individuals already struggling to make ends meet.
Many of the families served by our network are oftentimes faced with the difficult decision of buying a bag of groceries or paying the utility bill. And unfortunately, as the snow and ice has piled up, so has the number of snowdays for schoolchildren. For children at risk of hunger, snowdays mean no free or reduced-price lunches at school or after-school meals at local community centers and daycares. And for their parents, this means a need for more groceries in the house. Troublesome is the fact that while demand for food assistance services is up during these bitter cold months, our food donations have dropped significantly.
Traditionally, November and December are our busiest months for community food drives. Once the holidays are over, food donations drop significantly. Here are some of our food drive numbers from last year to demonstrate.
November – 93,560 pounds
December – 82,806 pounds
January – 43,616 pounds
February – 17,232 pounds
March – 24,729 pounds
April – 22,273 pounds
As you can see the winter months are always more of a struggle for the Food Bank of Delaware. In order to meet the increased demands for food assistance, it’s important that we’re able to get more food out into our community.
This winter we encourage businesses, community-based organizations, schools, faith-based organizations and others to start “heat or eat” food drives. It’s our belief that no one should have to decide whether to eat or heat their home this winter.
Some of our most-needed items include:
- Peanut butter
- Pasta and pasta sauce
- Canned soups
- Canned fruits and vegetables
- Hot and cold cereals
- Canned tuna fish and other meats
- Macaroni and cheese
For more information about hosting a food drive, please contact Jim Weir, Operations Director, at (302) 444-8073 or firstname.lastname@example.org.