By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator
Summer time and the living is easy . . . or so the song lyrics go, but for some children a summer vacation from school creates food insecurity.
With summer vacation just around the corner, the Food Bank of Delaware’s Summer Food Service Program fills a much-needed void at sites up and down the state.
Volunteer Carol Feeley manages the program at Lingo Apartments in Long Neck.
Mrs. Feely is an active member of the Auxiliary of the American Legion Post 28 in Millsboro.
A recent retiree and chairperson of the community service committee, Mrs. Feeley and other auxiliary members help out during the summer months from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the complex’s community room.
Every day in the summer, about 15 elementary school children show up for lunch. Some will stay for games or to chat with the volunteers.
“The kids are fun. They are nice children,” she said.
Mrs. Feely explains that assisting with this program meets one of the auxiliary’s mission of service; the organization became involved four years ago.
“Our goal is service to veterans, military families and their children in the community. We know that one child is a grandchild of our members. We’re serving veterans through their family members,” she said.
For the volunteers, the service is uncomplicated: one or two assist each day with setting up, serving and wiping down the tables. Food Bank of Delaware volunteers pack the meals back at the Milford Branch and a driver delivers right to the apartment complex.
“It’s really simple. By one o’clock, they’re gone and we’re cleaned up,” Mrs. Feeley added.
The program, funded by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture and administered by the state Department of Education, provides meals to low-income children who don’t have access to free and reduced-price school meals during the summer months.
Last summer, the Food Bank of Delaware delivered 150,000 children’s meals. This year the Food Bank expects to deliver more than 200,000.
As with other Food Bank of Delaware programs, volunteers like Mrs. Feeley and the American Legion Post 28 Auxiliary are the key to meeting the needs of Delawareans having difficulties putting meals on the table.
Volunteers can sign up to assist with the Summer Food Service Program at http://www.fbd.volunteerhub.com.
Sites wishing to receive free meals from the Food Bank of Delaware may contact Dan Jackson, Hunger Relief Coordinator, at (302) 444-8128 or firstname.lastname@example.org.