Food Bank of Delaware honors outstanding supporters at annual dinner

Last night we honored ten supporters who have played a critical role in the organization’s efforts to alleviate hunger in Delaware this year! More than 125 guests joined us at our newly-expanded Milford Branch to celebrate our accomplishments. A delicious dinner was prepared by Chef Tim Hunter and past graduates of The Culinary School at our Milford Branch!

This year’s honorees include:

Volunteer of the Year – Mary McGowan: Mary McGowan is dedicated to the mission of the Food Bank of Delaware. She has been volunteering at the Newark facility since March 2012 and has donated more than 1,000 hours to the organization. Mary volunteers at the Food Bank several times a week and helps with a variety of tasks including sorting foods, packing emergency meal boxes, packing bags for the Backpack Program, stocking shelves, preparing meals for our children’s nutrition programs and much more.

Board Member of the Year – Scott Sukeena: Board Member Scott Sukeena has been on the Food Bank of Delaware Board of Directors for more than seven years. He served as Chairman of the Board for two of those years. As Senior Vice President of Commercial Enterprise Banking at Citizens Bank, Scott brings a wealth of financial expertise to the Food Bank’s board. He serves on the Financial Committee and works with key Food Bank of Delaware staff and board members to ensure that the organization’s financials are healthy.

Corporate Donor of the Year – TD Bank: TD Bank has significantly increased their level of support over the past two years helping to fund an array of programs. Their contributions have totaled $156,000. TD Bank supports the following programs/initiatives: Mobile Pantry Program, Backpack Program, Coalition to End Hunger, Blue Jean Ball and Ending Hunger Conference. TD Bank has successfully engaged their employees in unique ways to address the issue of hunger in Delaware, including participation in DelawareCAN.

Group Volunteer of the Year – Starbucks: Since the new volunteer room at the Milford Branch opened in September, Starbucks has regularly volunteered. The group is so engaged that they have even brought one of their customer service vendors, SITEL, on board to volunteer alongside with the coffee-loving team. Together, Starbucks and SITEL have had a total of 69 individual visits for a total of 224 hours and packed more than 25,000 meals.

Legislator of the Year – Senator Colin Bonini: Senator Bonini has been an advocate for the Food Bank of Delaware and numerous other community organizations. Senator Bonini was instrumental in the completion of our Milford Expansion. This past September, he spoke at our Milford Expansion grand opening event, where he provided a demonstration of his gratitude for the work of the Food Bank of Delaware.

Advocate of the Year – Karen Williams: As a social studies teacher at Lake Forest High School in Felton, Karen makes it a priority to educate her students about the problems of hunger in Delaware. William’s Leadership class at the high school frequently volunteers at the food bank’s Milford Branch and the Lake Forest Church Association, one of the Food Bank’s Hunger-Relief Partners. As a result of Karen’s leadership, Lake Forest High School was one of the first schools in the state to start an in-school food pantry.

Partner of the Year – Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant: Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant has significantly increased its support of the Food Bank of Delaware in recent years. Iron Hill first became involved with the organization through The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware. Serving as a member of the advisory committee, Iron Hill helped develop the school’s earliest curriculum and advised on topics that were relevant to Delaware’s restaurant owners and operators.

Retailer of the Year – Walmart: The Food Bank of Delaware honors Walmart as its Retailer of the Year. Over the past five years, Walmart has donated more than 1,376,000 pounds of fresh foods to Delawareans struggling to put meals on the table. Using a refrigerated truck, donated by Walmart, Food Bank of Delaware drivers pick up from 10 Walmart stores up and down the state each week. Walmart donates a variety of foods including bakery items, fresh produce, meats and more. In addition to donating the truck and fresh foods, Walmart has donated more than $300,000 to Food Bank programming over the past five years

Food Donor of the Year – Lunch with a Purpose: The ladies of Lunch with a Purpose are making a difference in the community. On the first Friday of the month from September to May, 250 ladies attend the special luncheon in Sussex County. Each month a different charity partner is highlighted, but a canned good drive for the Food Bank remains a constant. Since 2010, the group has collected close to 20,000 pounds of food for the Food Bank through the monthly luncheon.

Hunger-Relief Partner of the Year – Calvary Assembly of God: Calvary Assembly of God in Dover offers a wide variety of programs to meet the community’s most basic of needs, food. Through partnership with the Food Bank of Delaware, Calvary hosts the Food Bank’s mobile pantry truck two times a month, holds a monthly food box distribution for senior citizens through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program and operates a weekly food closet program for those in need.

Check out some photos from the evening!

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