The expansion project, estimated to cost approximately $2.7 million, will allow us to nearly double the size of the current 8,000-square-foot facility. An additional $1 million is needed to break ground.
“I personally cannot think of a better use of county funds than this project that will be so beneficial to so many Delawareans. To me this is an outstanding program with very positive results,” said P. Brooks Banta, Kent County Levy Court Commissioner.
“We are so thankful for the generosity of the Kent County Levy Court,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “They truly recognize and understand the critical needs of residents of not only Kent County, but the state of Delaware. It takes all sectors – government, nonprofit, business, faith-based, education and others – working together to come up with solutions to make our state better. With more than one in four Delawareans depending on our network of hunger-relief partners, the need to come together to feed those struggling to make ends meet is needed now more than ever.”
Plans call for the construction of an industrial-sized kitchen to prepare hot meals for children in after-school enrichment programs, house The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware, a volunteer room to eliminate the need for volunteers to work in warehouse aisles, and additional space to increase hunger-relief programming for residents of Kent and Sussex Counties. The Culinary School will serve under- and unemployed adults, individuals in prison re-entry programs and the disabled. The school is currently operated out of the organization’s Newark warehouse.
As a result of the expansion we will increase the number of meals delivered through the children’s nutrition programs by 25 percent, resulting in 275,000 more meals for children in need. The creation of the volunteer room will allow us to double the number of volunteers from 6,000 to 12,000 and enable volunteers to pack meal boxes for senior citizens and emergency meal boxes for the mobile pantry program.