Anti-hunger advocates urge Delawareans to host Share a Second Helping food drives now through the end of February. The Share a Second Helping winter-long giving/awareness campaign launched in December in order to help meet the emergency food needs of Delawareans during the cold winter months. Organizers hope to collect 100,000 pounds of food by Feb. 28.
The Coalition to End Hunger, Food Bank of Delaware, Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS) and Delaware 2-1-1 encourage Delawareans to dig a little deeper this winter season to help families struggling to make ends meet. Thirty-three percent of households served by the Food Bank of Delaware’s network of hunger-relief partners oftentimes report choosing between buying groceries and paying their heating bills.
“This winter has been harsh for all of us,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “But especially for families already struggling to pay their rent/mortgage, heat their homes and put meals on the table. The cold weather, coupled with recent cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the expiration of unemployment benefits for some, has made for a very difficult winter.”
“Many of the 156,000 food assistance clients we serve at DHSS are working outside of the home,” Secretary Rita Landgraf said. “But their paychecks and their food benefits aren’t always enough. That’s why thousands of our neighbors have to turn to the Food Bank of Delaware and other community partners each month to meet their basic food needs. As this harsh winter continues and needs increase, we ask the community to help us restock the food bank and its partners through the Share a Second Helping campaign.”
Share a Second Helping takes a three-pronged approach to assisting Delawareans this winter:
- Gather food and monetary resources to meet the immediate food needs of Delawareans during the winter months
- Educate at-risk Delawareans on available resources, including the services of Delaware 2-1-1
- Work with elected officials and stakeholders to implement long-term solutions to meet these nutritional needs through a strong federal safety net
With a campaign goal of 100,000 pounds, the Food Bank of Delaware encourages individuals, businesses, community-based organizations, schools, faith-based organizations and others to host winter-long food drives and fundraisers.
A recent study by the Food Research and Action Council shows that Delaware ranks 12th worst in the nation for food hardship amongst households with children. Witnessing firsthand these increased needs from the community, Delaware 2-1-1 fielded more than 100,000 phone calls from Delawareans in need of human services last year.
“Over the last few months, Delaware 2-1-1 has experienced an 11 percent increase in the number of Delawareans who have utilized our service for assistance with food in comparison to this same time last year,” said Delaware 2-1-1 Director Donna Synder-White. “I’m honored that Delaware 2-1-1 is available to serve our community by guiding our neighbors to local resources so they may provide healthy meals for their families in their time of need.”
Central to the campaign’s advocacy component is giving Delawareans utilizing human services a voice in working to bring about systemic change.
“While additional resources will help hunger-relief agencies meet some increased demands, they do not address long-term solutions to the problems of poverty and hunger,” said Coalition to End Hunger Chairwoman Julie Miro Wenger. “We need to work on long-term solutions that will help those struggling to make ends meet. We have working families, seniors, veterans and children that have hunger in common. In this day and age there should be no family, senior, child or vet that has to experience hunger.”
To learn more about Share a Second Helping, please visit http://www.fbd.org/share-a-second-helping/. Information about food drives, fundraisers and advocacy can be found there. For individuals in need of emergency food assistance, please contact the Delaware 2-1-1 by simply dialing 2-1-1.