The outpouring of support from our community this holiday season was truly amazing! Thanks to Delawareans, like the Bartons, we collected 195,553 pounds for our neighbors struggling to put meals on the table through our annual holiday food drive.
For the Bartons, the holiday season extends beyond the traditional tree trimming, gift exchange and family dinner.
For the past six years, their season has included an annual food drive to benefit the Food Bank of Delaware.
This year was no exception. The four Dalton children, Parker, Sloan, Dylan and Dalton, who now range from ages 15-23, sent out a notice to the 175 families in their neighborhood west of Camden-Wyoming.
Residents are asked to leave a bag of food near their mailbox or in the garage if it’s raining. The notice, printed on bright paper, even suggests items most needed by the Food Bank, such as cereals, peanut butter and jelly, beans and rice, pasta and things that make a holiday dinner, like cranberry sauce and stuffing mix.
This year on Dec. 15, all four Bartons piled into the family SUV and made their pick-up rounds. The first year or so, since none were old enough to drive, their mom, Elyse, took the wheel.
Since the neighbors are generous, the family must make three or four trips, returning home to unload in their own garage in between. Then they repack the car and deliver the food to the Food Bank’s Milford warehouse.
They brought their donations in on Dec. 17 in time for holiday distribution.
Over the years, they have collected more than 5,000 pounds of food; this year’s donation weighed in at 888 pounds.
“The neighbors often call if they saw us and forgot, if we missed them,” said Mrs. Barton.
“The reason this is so successful is that people want to donate, put for some people it’s hard to donate, to pack it up and take it somewhere. We make this so easy. Some people like us to do it because we are capable of doing it. We really help people do the good they want to do,” said Dylan Barton.
“We started this when Parker was 9. My hope is that they will continue,” said Mrs. Barton.
This winter we hope our community will continue to help Delawareans struggling to put meals on the table. January and February traditionally are very slow donation months for food banks. To keep the momentum going, the Food Bank of Delaware, Coalition to End Hunger, Delaware Health and Social Services and Delaware 2-1-1 have launched Share a Second Helping, a winter-long giving and awareness campaign.
Please help us collect 100,000 pounds of food by February 28. Together, we can make sure Delawareans don’t have to choose between heating their homes and buying a bag of groceries this winter season! To learn more about the campaign, please click here.