More than one in four Delawareans receives emergency food assistance through out network of hunger-relief partners. Our partners include food closets, shelters, soup kitchens, daycares and other organizations that provide free food assistance to those in need.
Earlier this month we had the opportunity to visit the senior food distribution at the Evangelistic Temple of Truth in Wilmington. Fred and Tina Hall run the program, and greet their clients like they are family. As clients waited in line, Tina announced, “We love you! Thank you for coming; we will have you in and out in no time!”
For seniors like Rosemarie Zimmerman, the senior nutrition program at the church is a life line. Food for the program is provided through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Supplemental Food Program. Without the program many seniors would be faced with difficult decisions – food or medicines? food or shelter? heat or eat?
Fortunately for Rosemarie, she doesn’t have to make those decisions. The food she receives through the program provides her household with the ability to prepare nutritious foods at home.
“I don’t know how I would get through without this program,” she says. Two knee replacements and a back injury have left the once registered nurse unable to work since 2005. In addition to her disabilities, Rosemarie has full custody of her 13-year-old son. It’s tough for her to provide for both herself and grandson. The $16 she receives in food stamps each month simply does not last the entire month.
“This church is a place where people can come and get plenty of what they need,” she says. “It’s truly a blessing.”
Rosemarie is one of 2,500 Delaware seniors who receive food each month through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. The USDA-sponsored program is adminstered in Delaware by the Food Bank of Delaware. Two full-time staff members make sure boxes of canned fruits and vegetables, breakfast items, shelf-stable milk, cheese, peanut butter, pasta, canned meat and other items get into the hands of elderly Delawareans. The free boxes allow seniors to direct their very-limited budgets to other necessities such as medicine, housing and utility costs. To learn more about the program, please visit http://www.fbd.org/program/senior-nutrition/.