By Kim Turner, Communications Director
Right before the holidays I had a chance to visit with Tina and Fred Hall at Evangelistic Temple of Truth (ETOT) Church in Wilmington. The Hall’s are passionate volunteers who run the food program at the church. The couple works tiredlessly to make sure families, especially seniors and children, have access to plenty of nutritious foods. When Tina and Fred aren’t at the Food Bank of Delaware picking up food from our warehouse in Newark, they are working out of a small basement within their church on South Franklin Street. The Halls work with a dedicated group of volunteers filling grocery bags full of canned goods, bakery products, frozen chicken and more!
The church hosts food distributions throughout the month for both seniors and the general public. On the day I visited, volunteers were distributing in the morning to seniors and the general public at lunchtime. Seniors who receive monthly assistance are participants in our Commodity Supplemental Food Program. In addition to the food designated for the program, the Halls supplement with extra items they receive from their membership at the Food Bank! I was amazed to see how much food each household received! The Hall’s are incredibly generous and care greatly about each individual who walks through their door.
I spoke with several seniors in line and all were thankful for the program. “My husband and I are both retired and over the age of 70 so the program is a big help,” said Betty. The couple has been participating since we started the program. “We’re very happy with the food we receive. At first I didn’t think we would qualify. Before we retired my husband was a truck driver and I worked in a jewelry store. Even then we both had very small incomes.” Betty is proud that all of her children are grown, successful and living on their own.
I also spoke with a 70-year-old retired woman who is taking care of her mentally-ill sister. “The program is good. I am very happy with it – it works for me. Before I retired I was a homebound aid with the Visiting Nurses Association. I worked with them for more than 20 years. I learned about the senior program through the local senior center. It really is a blessing.”
In addition to nutritious food, visitors also received free information from our SNAP Outreach Coordinator, Matt Talley, about signing up for SNAP benefits. Our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Program Coordinator, Barbara Brkovich, was on hand to explain the benefits of signing up for the program, set to start this spring at the Wilmington Farmers’ Market at Cool Springs Park.
We are so thankful for all of the partners we work with! They play a very important role in our efforts to alleviate hunger in Delaware! We can’t distribute millions of pounds of food each year without them.
Check out some pictures from our visit!