Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn and Delaware Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Kee joined the Coalition to End Hunger this morning at Highland Orchards to announce the coalition’s priorities for the coming year.
The mission of the Coalition to End Hunger is to coordinate the collaborative development of an equitable, accessible and just regional food system for the state of Delaware’s New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties. The Coalition will focus on four areas in the coming year – increasing access to school breakfast for Delaware’s children, advocacy, healthy food financing and connecting area farmers to low-income Delawareans.
“We should make sure that kids who may not be getting breakfast at home are getting it at school, especially because we may be able to provide it to them at little cost to the state,” said Denn. “We will be working with our school districts over the coming months to increase the percentage of eligible kids who receive breakfast at school, with the goal of no kid going through the school day hungry.”
“Delaware has several strong initiatives to bring fresh produce to low-income residents and thus improve nutrition and health,” said Kee. “Our partners and projects include urban farmers in Wilmington neighborhoods, local farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture programs and distribution networks linking southern and northern Delaware.”
The Coalition to End Hunger is led by a steering committee of representatives from education, agriculture, government, community reinvestment and policy sectors.
“We are proud of the progress we have made as a result of the work of the coalition,” said Julie Miro Wenger, Coalition to End Hunger Chairwoman. “What started as the Anti-Hunger Coalition in 2009 has grown into a statewide Coalition to End Hunger, advocating on behalf of Delawareans who struggle with hunger. We held our first-ever Ending Hunger through Citizen Service conference in April with more than 250 attendees, and our focus for this year is a direct result of interest areas of our attendees.”
“We must look beyond the traditional model of food banking – can in and can out – in order to create sustainable communities,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “Sound public policy and infrastructure is needed to ensure that our state’s most vulnerable have access to nutritious foods and opportunities for employment training where they’ll earn a living wage.”
Work groups comprised of community members will focus on making improvements in the four project areas. The advocacy work group is currently planning community screenings of the anti-hunger documentary, A Place at the Table, while the school breakfast group is meeting with educators throughout the state to identify best practices for alternative school breakfast models such as breakfast in the classroom.
To learn more about the work of the coalition, please visit www.coalitiontoendhunger.org.
Check out some pictures from this morning’s event!