Volunteer Spotlight (and a love story!): Mr. and Mrs. Smith

Volunteers are the heart and soul of the Food Bank of Delaware! They make sure that thousands of meals are packed each day for children in need, plastic bags are filled with weekend food for kids at risk of hunger, emergency meal boxes are filled for families and seniors in need, donated items are sorted and categorized and shelves are stocked for our hunger-relief partners!

Jean and Harry Smith have been dedicated Food Bank of Delaware volunteers for six years now! The retired couple comes to our facility in Newark every Tuesday from 8 a.m. – 12 noon helping with various tasks. Mrs. Smith makes sure our Shopper’s Choice area is neatly stocked with nonperishable household staples, and Mr. Smith assists the Development Department with different clerical projects. The Smith’s are committed to our vision of a community free of hunger!

Six years ago the Smith’s discovered the volunteer opportunities at the Food Bank through a newspaper article. At the time Mrs. Smith was volunteering at a local hospital, but wanted to do something she and her husband could do together. They serve through RSVP, a volunteer program for adults over the age of 55. “Volunteering at the Food Bank makes me happy,” says Mrs. Smith. “I would be devastated if I had to give it up. After having nine kids it’s nice to find something outside of the home to do.” Mr. Smith says that volunteering gives the couple “a change of life after retirement.” They have met many wonderful people during their time at the Food Bank.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith always bring a smile to the faces of our staff. They’re friendly, dedicated and hardworking! We appreciate the help they provide each Tuesday, but more importantly, we appreciate that we’ve had the opportunity to get to know them on a personal basis. With nine kids, 22 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren the couple certainly stays busy. 

The Smith’s have been married for 65 years, and the story of how they met is worth sharing…

They met in 1945 in Wildwood, NJ. At the time Mrs. Smith worked for the Federal Reserve Bank in Philadelphia, and Mr. Smith was a sailor for the Coast Guard. Mr. Smith and a friend were walking down the shore when they encountered five pretty young ladies sitting on the beach. Fortunately, for the boys, the girls’ umbrella blew away. The young sailors chased the umbrella down the beach and helped get it back in the sand. They ended up staying to chat and were invited to attend the girls’ party later that night. Mr. Smith describes it as a “summer romance that worked!” That same day the couple walked down the Wildwood boardwalk. Mr. Smith wanted to bring back some fudge for his mom, but only had a dollar! Mrs. Smith lent him a dollar and the two exchanged addresses so he could repay her! He sent the dollar along with a letter and the two began dating! Two-and-a-half years later the two were married!

Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s commitment to each other and our mission at the Food Bank of Delaware is truly inspiring! We are so fortunate to have them as part of our Food Bank family! Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Smith and the thousands of other volunteers who help make sure Delawareans are fed!

To learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Food Bank of Delaware, please visit www.fbd.volunteerhub.com.

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