By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator
Thanks to a very generous grant from the Our Family Foundation, we are able to continue to grow our Summer Grab and Go meal program for kids this year.
On Monday, the first program got under way on a warm and humid morning in the Elizabeth Cornish neighborhood just north of Bridgeville.
The Summer Grab and Go Program complements our existing nutrition services to reach an under-served population of children who are unable to access our Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) at traditional distribution sites.
This is my first summer at the Food Bank of Delaware, so I didn’t know what to expect from this Monday assignment.
My job, if you want to call it that, was to help with the face-painting. In addition to face painting, kids ran through an obstacle course, collected prizes by playing assorted games, hula hooped, jump roped and more!
The kids we met were delightful and seemed to enjoy our visit!
Let’s say the painting itself was at times a bit challenging. No simple hearts and flowers for these girls. Some requested flags from their native countries, sometimes incorporating the flag’s colors and patterns into a heart or butterfly. Glitter and faux gemstones were popular enhancements to the intricate pink and purple designs on their cheeks.
Some even returned for more paint on their arms or the back of their hands.
But the real focus of the day was meeting the challenge of feeding hungry children.
The 10-week Grab and Go initiative reaches out to children with limited access to summer feeding programs, primarily children who live in a rural area.
While Elizabeth Cornish is a neighborhood, it’s a small one, and it’s situated adjacent to a major highway outside the corporate limits of a town. The residents could not walk or bike safely into town.
The current program has been made possible by a three-year, $300,000 grant provide by the Our Family Foundation.
In addition to fun and games for kids, each child received a free summer meal and parents had the opportunity to visit our mobile pantry, staffed by students from The Culinary School at our Milford Branch. After a cooking demonstration from our Community Nutrition Educator Asia Thurston, families chose up to 100 pounds of food from our pantry on wheels.
In order to meet the people we serve, we will be visiting more neighborhoods in the upcoming week.
Need free summer meals? Call 2-1-1! To learn more about our Summer Nutrition Program, please click here.
Check out some pictures from Monday’s event!