Category Archives: Hunger

Senior health fair termed success; more than 200 attendees

By Gwen Guerke, Communications CoordinatorIMG_1122

The Food Bank of Delaware’s first, but certainly not last, Health Fair could be described as a huge success, since more than 200 people came out to the Milford branch for health screenings and education related to health and a healthy lifestyle.

Melissa Holochwost, Senior Nutrition and Mobile Pantry Coordinator at the Food Bank of Delaware, was pleased with the response, since 182 of those attending qualified to be served with food, including meat and fresh fruits and vegetables.

“I really couldn’t ask for anything more. The vendors said they were pleased, and the people I talked to said they learned things they didn’t know,” she said.

“We wanted to make it fun and relaxing, and we want seniors to feel like it is OK to ask for assistance.”

Linda Booth Rogers, DCVA, volunteer services coordinator for Volunteer Delaware 50+, said she was pleased with the turnout and the opportunity to talk with people.

“The fair was well attended by individuals in the community. It was wise to have it the same day the seniors picked up food, plus doing the bingo card to make sure each one visited our tables. It was clear that the population attending was in dire need of all the services provided by the many vendors,” she said.

IMG_1134Other vendors agreed.

Trisha Bentley, RN, MSN, a clinical educator with Bayhealth’s education department, staffed a table with two other nurses.

 “We did 28 Diabetes Paper Risk Assessments and handed out lab vouchers for patients to go to either Milford Memorial Hospital or Kent General Hospital outpatient lab for a free diabetes test. There were a significant number of patients who came by the table, but already had diabetes so didn’t take the risk assessment, but they took a wallet ID card and/or diabetes management information. I thought it was well organized, well attended, and I will definitely recommeIMG_1132nd doing it again,” she said.

Missy said the concept for the health fair was a natural offshoot of monthly senior cooking and nutrition classes offered at the Food Bank. The classes and health fair are supported through the generosity of the Palmer Home Foundation.

“From the mobile pantries and senior classes, I can see that seniors are interested in getting more education. They aren’t aware of the existing services,” she said.

“This was an opportunity for them to talk with experts, and for the most part, it was all I hoped it would be.”

For more information about the Food Bank of Delaware’s services for senior citizens, visit http://www.fbd.org/program/senior-nutrition/.

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Partner Spotlight: Backpack Program at G.W. Carver Center

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Michele Murphy shows of G.W. Carver’s new school pantry, sponsored by the Harry K Foundation. In addition to backpacks, district families may also utilize the pantry.

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

Many of the participants in the Food Bank of Delaware’s Backpack Program are in elementary and middle school.

However, at the G.W. Carver Center in Frankford, there are 58 high school students enrolled in the Advanced Preliterate English Language Learners (APELL) program who are grateful to receive the weekend supply of food.

Many of them work in addition to going to school, said Michele Murphy, Parent Center Director. “They are some of the happiest kids. They want to learn. They are not greedy and appreciate whatever they are given.”

Some, she said, work in the poultry-processing plant in addition to attending school.

“It’s like giving them a million dollars in cash,” she said. Even though the Backpack Program is geared toward elementary-age students, the food makes a difference in these students’ lives.

The Backpack Program, now in its third week here, is distributed on Fridays.

“It’s inconspicuous,” said Mrs. Murphy, adding that the shelf-stable food packed in plastic bags is handed out in the three classrooms where the students are learning English, math and science.

“It’s better than nothing, and it’s a little variety,” she said.

“The students are thrilled. It’s been successful beyond our expectations. Who knows, the backpacks may keep them here.”

Mrs. Murphy said the students are not the only ones who benefit from the backpacks.

“The teachers are also very appreciative. They could tell the students need some nourishment over the weekend. They feel like Santa Claus,” she added.

Teacher Lori Ott agrees the backpacks are an important part of the students’ educational experiences.

“They appreciate it, and they are ready for them,” she said.

To learn more about the Backpack Program, please click here.

 

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Bank of America and Food Bank of Delaware Unveil Brand New Community Nutrition and Education Vehicle

Bank of America and the Food Bank of Delaware unveiled a brand new Community Nutrition and Education vehicle this morning at an event outside Bank of America’s downtown Bracebridge complex. In addition to unveiling the truck, Bank of America presented the Food Bank with a $75,000 to help support day-to-day operations of the truck. This is in addition to a $150,000 investment from the company last year to support the purchase of the truck, allowing the Food Bank to deliver food to families in rural areas or those living in a city where convenient access to a grocery store can be a challenge.

“Individuals continue to struggle to provide basic necessities for their families, including food and shelter. In fact, 1 and 5 Delaware children live in poverty,” said Chip Rossi, Delaware market president, Bank of America. “One of the ways Bank of America can make a difference is by continuing our long-time and ongoing support of the Food Bank of Delaware. Our investments will allow the Food Bank to expand its food delivery and educational services to reach families in our area that need this support most.”

The truck unveiling and check presentation was held in conjunction with a mobile food distribution for more than 100 families from Wilmington, including families from the Community Education Building (CEB). Bank of America donated the building to the Longwood Foundation in 2012 for the purpose of creating the CEB, which currently houses two schools. Twenty Bank of America employee volunteers distributed emergency meal boxes filled with nonperishables, frozen items and more.

“This truck is significant to our operations and to the food security of Delawareans,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “In order to alleviate hunger in our state, we must think outside the box. This truck will enable us to develop creative strategies to feed and educate more in our community. From feeding children during the summer months to providing hands-on training opportunities for our Culinary School students, this truck allows us to focus on two major priorities – feeding children and workforce development.”

The 26-foot-long Community Nutrition and Education vehicle is a multi-purpose truck that features a generator, roll-out grill, portable water tank and canopy. The new truck will enable the hunger-relief organization to host mobile summer meal distributions for children, provide students from The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware an opportunity to sell food and hold cooking demonstrations at community events, distribute food through other mobile distributions and more.

 

 

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Chesapeake Utilities Corporation donates $30,000 towards Food Bank of Delaware “Thanksgiving for All” food distribution

Check presentationThanks to a $30,000 donation from Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, 1,000 families in Kent and Sussex Counties will have a hot Thanksgiving meal.

More than 200 families received a holiday meal box – containing a frozen turkey, all of the trimmings and a roasting pan — at a distribution at St. Bernadette’s Church in Harrington on Monday.  Another 325 families were served outside Chesapeake Utilities’ Dover office on South Queen Street on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, 300-plus families were served at Long Neck United Methodist Church in Millsboro. The remaining boxes will be distributed at a mobile pantry in Dover early next week.

Approximately 165 Chesapeake volunteers spent three days packaging holiday meals last week and three days assisting the Food Bank of Delaware with this week’s holiday distribution. In both rain and frigid temperatures, committed volunteers loaded grocery carts with holiday boxes and turkeys and helped recipients load their cars.

“We are pleased to partner with the Food Bank of Delaware to give back to our community by providing Thanksgiving meals for 1,000 local families,” said Michael P. McMasters, President and Chief Executive Officer of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation. “This is just one way that we connect with our communities and it is something that our teams look forward to all year long.”

Chad Robinson, the Food Bank of Delaware’s Milford branch director, expressed gratitude for Chesapeake Utilities Corporation’s ongoing generosity. “Thanks to this generous donation from Chesapeake Utilities, we can meet the needs of 1,000 families, our neighbors, throughout downstate Delaware. The kindness and community spirit shown by Chesapeake’s workplace team is proof of their dedication to help the communities in which they live and work,” he said.

One recipient who wished to remain anonymous said, “This is such a blessing. Your staff, volunteers and donors have given us this wonderful box of food. It was cold and windy, but everyone pushed on. From my family and myself, thank you and have a blessed Thanksgiving.”

In addition to the holiday food distribution, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is also making funding available to ensure that the elderly, ill and those facing financial hardship are not forgotten during the cold winter months when energy bills are at their peak. Grants are available to income-eligible customers of Chesapeake Utilities and Sharp Energy with additional amounts available for those over the age of 60. Also, the SHARING program has additional grants for appliance purchases or repair; the recently unemployed; and customers who are in need due to serious illness or family tragedy. Learn more about SHARING at www.chpk.com/sharing.

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Harry K. Foundation, Food Bank of Delaware mark grand opening of Indian River School District school pantry at G.W. Carver Educational Center

Harry KThanks to a generous donation from the Harry K. Foundation, anti-hunger advocates officially cut the ribbon on the new school pantry at the G.W. Carver Educational Center this morning.

Funds were raised at last year’s Harry K. Christmas Ball. Support from the Harry K Foundation allowed the food bank to provide 103 children from Sussex County with a backpack full of food for the entire school year and to open nine new school pantries in Sussex County schools, including the one at G.W. Carver.

Through the program, at-risk families with students enrolled in the Indian River School District will be able to access emergency food and hygiene products by visiting the food pantry. The new pantry will offer a variety of nutritious food products and hygiene items. Families will select food based on their household’s needs each week. Food for the pantry will be provided by the Food Bank of Delaware and school-wide food drives or community donations.

“Hunger is all around us and it is our civic responsibility to feed our people,” said Harry K. Foundation Founder Harry Keswani. “We are happy to work in cooperation with the Food Bank of Delaware and our local schools to feed our children and their families. We ask our local people and business owners to join us by donating to the Harry K. Foundation so that we can bring food pantries to more schools.”

“According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap study, 18.3 percent of Delaware’s children live in food insecure households,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “We are thankful for the Harry K Foundation’s support to ensure that families in Sussex County have access to nutritious foods for their household.”

Child food insecurity is highest in Sussex County with 20.2 percent of children living in food insecure households.

“I am so happy that we have been able to open this and other pantries in our communities, but our task has only just begun,” said Harry K Foundation Spokesman Tim Buckmaster. “No child should go to bed hungry or worry about when the next meal may be. Together we can and will make a difference.”

“When our students’ basic needs of food, clothing and shelter are not being met, it is very difficult for them to excel at school and for their families to support their education at home,” said Indian River School District Superintendent Susan Bunting. Our district parent center was created to provide families with the tools they need to support student achievement – both academically and personally. The food pantry will be a great extension of these efforts and an important resource for our district families.”

The second annual Harry K Foundation Christmas Ball will be held on Saturday, December 6 at the Rehoboth Beach Country Club. Tickets are $250/person and can be purchased by visiting http://www.harrykfoundation.org/Harry-K-Foundation-Ball.html. Proceeds will help fight childhood hunger in Sussex County.

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Food Bank services credited with improved outlook on life

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

It’s hard to imagine that there is anyone more grateful for the services provided by the Food Bank of Delaware than Edward Hawkins.

This Dover resident had undergone some difficult and stressful times before a friend told him about Food Bank programs provided through Calvary Assembly of God, one of our 550 partners engaged in hunger-relief operations.

A Vietnam-era Navy veteran and former maintenance technician, Edward moved from Pennsylvania to Dover in order to be closer to his wife’s sister. He was injured on the job in 2008 and applied for disability benefits. His wife of 23 years became ill and died of cancer last year.

“At that time, I lost weight because I was not eating well. I was positioning myself to die,” said Edward, recounting the combined negative impact of grief and post-traumatic stress disorder.

A friend noticed his situation and suggested he connect with the Food Bank.

“I registered and got a box of food,” he said, and he wrote down what was happening in his life as he started on the road to recovery.

“I filled in the shortfall in my SNAP benefit allotments,” he wrote.

Edward, 58, shared the positive impact of the Food Bank of Delaware’s hunger-relief efforts with legislators in June when the Food Bank lobbied for state support in Delaware’s Legislative Hall.

He clearly loves to cook and eat healthy food and has embraced the Community Supported Agriculture program in which he received a box of farm-fresh produce at the Loockerman Way Farmers’ Market every Wednesday during the growing season. He was one of 149 families participating each week.

“That is a lot of good food they are providing,” he said. “I tell people that’s the reason I’m here, eating things like fresh greens.”

In addition, the fresh produce provides him an opportunity to try new foods and experiment with innovative recipes. He often offers his neighbors a chance to taste what he’s created.

“Healthy food can be so good, and I introduce them to something they’ve never had,” he added, sharing the preparation details of his impromptu entrees.

“I wish more people could be a part of the CSA. I know some people don’t know these programs are available,” he said.

To learn more about the Food Bank of Delaware’s hunger-fighting programs, visit http://www.fbd.org.

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Food Bank partners with First State Community Action to bring food and education to residents

08_Pinetown02 By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

The damp, drizzly weather didn’t keep folks away from a Monday afternoon meeting at the Pinetown Civic Center near Lewes.

Residents of the Pinetown community welcomed friends from Coolspring and Coverdale to learn more about programs available through a partnership between First State Community Action Agency and the Food Bank of Delaware.

Many of those attending were senior citizens eager and interested in free programs that enhance their quality of life.

For example, Charlotte McGarry, programs director for the Food Bank of Delaware, encouraged seniors to register for our Senior Nutrition Program, or Commodity Supplemental Food Program.

Eligible seniors receive a box of shelf stable food, including juice, protein, cheese and milk each month.

“It’s great to use these items to supplement your pantry,” Charlotte said.

She also urged community leaders to consider other Food Bank programs that provide healthy snacks and meals for neighborhood children participating in after-school enrichment activities.

In addition, Charlotte said, Food Bank staff will assist eligible residents who want to file for SNAP benefits.

The highlight of the afternoon was a mobile pantry distribution in which those attending could select about 70 pounds of food for 0908 Pinetown01 (2)personal use.

Patricia Beebe, Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO, was on hand for the distribution.

“We are so pleased to be able to partner with First State Community Action. We share similar missions, and that is to eradicate hunger and poverty in Delaware. When we’re all focused on the same thing, I have no doubt we can achieve that goal,” she said.

Bernice Edwards, executive director at First State Community Action, echoed Pat’s sentiments.

“The partnership provides an opportunity to benefit us all. I call it the holistic approach,” she said.

Best of all, those attending the educational workshop were delighted to be a part of the mobile pantry.

Evelyn Wilson, a retiree from the Coverdale community, obviously enjoys cooking. She said she planned to incorporate some of the vegetables into soups and use the raisins in her box for bread pudding.

Joyce Gibbs, a Pinetown resident, was happy to stock up before she left for her job as a school bus monitor.

“It really helps out,” she said, noting that she especially appreciated the bread, cereal and juices.

Since hitting the road in March 2013, the mobile pantry has serviced 4,500 families throughout the state.

For more information about the Food Bank of Delaware, visit www.fbd.org.

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