Category Archives: Supporters

Growing fresh foods with the New Castle County Master Gardeners

New Castle County Master Gardeners have been working hard all summer tending to their demonstration garden outside the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension office in Newark.

Produce grown in the garden is donated to the Food Bank and Little Sisters of the Poor. Last year, the group donated close to 900 pounds!

Master Gardener Rick Judd leads the group of dedicated volunteers who spend time weeding, watering, pruning, harvesting and more to make sure the demonstration garden is in tip-top shape. The garden serves three purposes – teaches the community best practices for vegetable and fruit gardening, shows how easy it is to compost and provides an opportunity for Master Gardeners to donate fresh foods to Delawareans in need.

The 288-square-foot garden has produced more than 300 pounds of food for the Food Bank so far this year. Rick says the gardeners are now harvesting some of their heaviest crops including sweet potatoes, squash and cantaloupe. Cucumbers, tomatoes and fresh herbs are also growing in abundance.

The demonstration garden also features unique ways to grow fruits and vegetables, especially if space is limited. Squash and cantaloupe are grown vertically on a trellis, beans and Swiss chard are grown in plastic containers traditionally used for storage and raised beds are home to healthy beets.

While Labor Day is just around the corner, growing will continue through the chilly fall months at the demonstration garden.

“This is a great month to get your fall crops in,” advises Rick. “Some you can sew in directly. I would actually start raising [seeds] under the lights. Now is a good time to start planting seeds such as broccoli, kale and cauliflower. Start them inside under the light about six weeks before you want to put them out. As they mature, they prefer the cooler weather of the fall.”

For those who are new to gardening, Rick says three ingredients are needed – sun, soil and water!

To learn more about the Master Gardeners in New Castle County, please click here.

Check out some photos of the demonstration garden!

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Food Lion Offers Customers an Opportunity to Gain Free Admittance to Delaware State Fair during “Food Lion Feeds Hunger Relief Day” on July 27

IMG_8325Food Lion, the Delaware State Fair and the Food Bank of Delaware announced today that the fourth annual “Food Lion Feeds Hunger Relief Day” will take place on Monday, July 27 at the Delaware State Fair.

Fair attendees who bring five Food Lion brand canned or boxed goods will in exchange receive free gate admittance to the Delaware State Fair from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., on Monday, July 27. This community effort is part of the fourth annual “Food Lion Feeds Hunger Relief Day” at the Delaware State Fair.

“At Food Lion, we believe no one should have to choose between dinner and paying rent or gasoline and buying groceries,” said Bob Mills, Food Lion’s execution and implementation specialist for the Delaware market. “That’s why we’re so passionate about helping to end hunger in our local communities. We know the community’s help from past events has helped us to feed people who otherwise would have to make those tough choices.”

Donations received through this year’s effort will assist families in Kent and Sussex Counties struggling to put food on the IMG_8312table. More than 43,000 residents of Kent and Sussex counties are considered food insecure, meaning their access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.

“Last year was a great success as we collected 26,238 meals for residents of Kent and Sussex Counties who are struggling with hunger,” said Food Bank of Delaware Milford Branch Director Chad Robinson. “With the help of our community, we hope to exceed last year’s total and stock our local food pantries with much-needed essentials.”

“The Delaware State Fairs is thankful for the continued support from Food Lion as we continue to work year after year in collecting the much-needed food to help support the community,” said Assistant General Manager for the Delaware State Fair, Danny Aguilar.

Volunteers from Food Lion, Lake Forest School District, the Delaware State Fair and the Food Bank of Delaware will accept donations at all gates. No items stored in glass will be accepted. Some of the Food Bank of Delaware’s most-needed items include the following:

  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Canned soups
  • Tuna fish
  • Peanut butter
  • Canned meats
  • Cereal
  • Pasta

For more information about the Delaware State Fair, please visit

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Strike Out Hunger with the Delmarva Shorebirds

Strike Out Hunger 2015We are proud to partner with Perdue Farms and the Delmarva Shorebirds for the “2015 Perdue Strike Out Hunger Challenge on Delmarva.” The Shorebirds are the Class A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.

To jump start the season-long challenge, the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation — the charitable giving arm of Perdue Farms — has issued a $15,000 challenge grant to benefit the Eastern Shore Branch of the Maryland Food Bank, the Food Bank of Delaware and the Eastern Shore Branch of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia.

“The Food Bank of Delaware is proud to partner again with Perdue Farms, the Delmarva Shorebirds and our food bank colleagues on the Delmarva Peninsula,” said Chad Robinson, Milford branch manager of the Food Bank of Delaware. “When Americans think of baseball, they are reminded of the ‘American Dream’ and it is unfortunate that too many Americans cannot attain that dream because of hunger and food insecurity.

“Through the Strike Out Hunger Challenge, we are happy that important attention will be given to this issue and that Perdue and the Shorebirds are engaged in doing their part to help us ensure a community free of hunger,” he said.

Perdue Farms has committed to eliminate hunger on the Delmarva Peninsula since 2011.

“At Perdue Farms, we believe that in a country as rich as our, no one should have to go hungry. That’s why the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation is thrilled to continue its partnership in the fight against hunger through the Strike Out Hunger Challenge,” said Kim Nechay, executive director of the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation. “Since 2011, this unique partnership between our Foundation, the Shorebirds and the region’s food banks has generated more than 400,000 meal equivalents to help our neighbors in need. We are very proud to be a part of such a collaborative effort of our greater community. Together, we can ‘Strike Out Hunger on Delmarva.’ ”

As Jimmy Sweet, assistant general manager of the Delmarva Shorebirds, said, “The Shorebirds are excited to work with Perdue and the three local food banks for the fifth year in a row. Together, we have made enormous strides since 2011 in helping provide for those in need and we are happy to continue our support in this noteworthy cause.”

The first $10,000 of the Foundation’s challenge grant will be divided equally among the three Delmarva food banks as a challenge to involve the Delmarva community in the regional fight against hunger.

Each food bank must raise the equivalent of 10,000 meals in order to claim their share of the $10,000 challenge grant. Any combination of pounds of food collected, funds collected and donated, or volunteer efforts starting with the Shorebirds’ home opener held on April 9, through the final game of the regular season at home on Wednesday, Sept. 2, will count toward each food bank’s challenge goal.

Perdue has also committed to donating $10 for each time Shorebirds’ pitchers strike out an opposing batter (up to $5,000). The $5,000 will be split equally between the three Delmarva food banks.

The Shorebirds have designated the season’s 11 Sunday home games as “Strike Out Hunger Sundays.” If fans bring two non-perishable food items to the stadium they can receive a general admission ticket to that day’s game for $3. Food collected from the 11 Sunday home games will be distributed equally among the three food banks.

In addition, food donation barrels will be located at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium, making it easy for fans to help by bringing food to the game or just stopping by the stadium.

To help the Food Bank of Delaware raise 10,000 meals, there are two ways to help in a big way:

  • Volunteer: Shifts at the Milford Branch on Monday and Friday afternoon are Strike Out Hunger volunteer shifts. Hours collected during those shifts will help towards the goal. To sign up, please click here or contact Lyndsay Humphreys, Volunteer Coordinator, at (302) 393-2011 or
  • Host a Strike Out Hunger Food Drive: To host a Strike Out Hunger Food Drive, please contact Chad Robinson, Milford Branch Director, at (302) 393-2010 or

Some most-needed items include:

  • Hot and Cold Cereals
  • Peanut Butter
  • Canned Fruits
  • Canned Meats
  • 8oz Shelf-Stable Milk
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Spaghetti Sauce



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Food Bank of Delaware honors Senator Bryan Townsend as Legislator of the Year

Legislator of the Year: State Senator Bryan Townsend

Legislator of the Year: State Senator Bryan Townsend

When Senator Bryan Townsend, State Senator for the 11th district, was elected to office in 2012, one of his first items of business was to visit the Food Bank of Delaware’s Newark facility. The Newark facility falls within the 11th senatorial district, and from the beginning, the Food Bank has been able to depend on Senator Townsend as an advocate in Legislative Hall.

He is supportive of legislation that impacts low-income populations, and in June 2014, he hosted the Food Bank of
Delaware at Legislative Hall for a legislative day. On that same day, Senator Townsend presented the Food Bank of Delaware with a Senate Resolution recognizing the Food Bank of Delaware for its contributions to alleviating hunger in Delaware.

In addition to serving as an ally in the halls of our state capitol, we also rely on Senator Townsend for strategic advice. Despite a busy schedule, the Senator has also made time to help plan the May 4 Coming Together conference, a partnership between the Food Bank of Delaware, Brae’s Brown Bags and the Food Research and Action Center.

The Food Bank of Delaware is grateful to have Bryan Townsend as our friend and state senator! Thank you, Senator, for your work to end hunger!

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Harry K Foundation honored at Annual Dinner

Donor of the Year: Harry K Foundation

Donor of the Year: Harry K Foundation

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

The Harry K Foundation was honored as Donor of the Year at our annual dinner held at the Milford branch on April 16.

Harry Keswani of Rehoboth Beach started this foundation in 2013 when he pledged to eliminate childhood hunger in Sussex County.

The Foundation started supporting the Food Bank of Delaware through an inaugural 2013 Christmas Ball, a black-tie event at the Rehoboth Beach Country Club; 100 percent of the proceeds was donated to the Foundation’s mission.

In its first year, that Christmas Ball was a sell-out success, raising enough money to provide more than 100 children in Sussex Country with a backpack full of food for the entire school year, and also to open nine new school pantries in Sussex County.

It costs $158 to provide a child with weekend food for one year. These backpacks are distributed through the schools before weekends and school holidays; each school site coordinator creates a discreet way to get the backpacks to children enrolled in the program.

During the 2013-14 school year, 4,692 children received backpacks through 125 sites statewide.

Since the first Christmas Ball was so successful, naturally there was another one. Thanks to the proceeds from the 2014 gala, the Food Bank of Delaware will be able to open an additional 10 school pantries and double the number of backpacks distributed to Sussex County children.

“Hunger is all around us, and it is our civic responsibility to feed our people,” Keswani said.

The Food Bank of Delaware and the people we serve thank the Harry K Foundation and the Keswani family for their commitment to our vision of a community free of hunger.

For more information on how to support the Food Bank of Delaware or the Backpack Program, click here!



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Volunteer Spotlight: Pam Fletcher

DSC_0089By Lynda Pusey, Fund Development Specialist

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month! Volunteers are the heart and soul of our organization. We can’t do what we do without their support! While each and every volunteer is important to us, some have gone above and beyond! Pam Fletcher is one of those volunteers.

Pam is a retired school psychologist who has been volunteering at the Food Bank of Delaware since August 2014. She volunteers in the kitchen and in the volunteer room approximately six hours each week and says she loves the variety of work and meeting so many new people.

As a kitchen volunteer, Pam works alongside a small team of volunteers preparing and packing meals for our After-School Nutrition Program. Having worked in a school environment she understands the importance of getting food to those who are food insecure. Thanks to dedicated volunteers like Pam we have been able to distribute 138,812 meals and 51,282 snacks through the After-School Nutrition Program to children who may not have access to nutritious foods after school.

She said she has learned patience and how to “roll with the flow” every day while volunteering. Her advice for people who are considering volunteering is to come and give it a try. “It is so fulfilling. It’s such a gift to be able to give back, and that’s why I volunteer,” she says.

To learn more about how you can volunteer your time at the Food Bank of Delaware, please visit

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Annual dinner showcases culinary students, thanks top supporters and friends

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

It goes without saying that the Food Bank of Delaware’s Annual Dinner is regarded as a special evening. The event is our opportunity to honor and thank those who support our mission.

Thursday evening’s banquet at our Milford site exceeded any expectations. Tim Hunter, chef instructor, and his nine Culinary School students prepared and served a gourmet meal for our staff and guests. They who also had an opportunity to savor craft beers donated and served by our neighbors, Mispillion River Brewing. The menu, served at buffet stations, was paired with local beers.

Patricia Beebe, our President and CEO, lauded our top honorees of the year. They are: James Buford and Rich Simpson, Volunteers of the Year; The Harry K Foundation, Donor of the Year; Michael Haritos, Supporter of the Year; State Sen. Bryan Townsend, Legislator of the Year, Sussex Community Corrections Center, Partner of the Year.

We are extremely grateful for the time and talent they contribute to the Food Bank of Delaware, and over the next week, we will feature each honoree in a separate blog. Stay tuned!

During the week prior to the dinner, staff members received an email from Pat: tie dye shirts were mandatory for the occasion. Those of us who’ve been here for awhile know that’s code for “auspicious occasion.”

To set the tone for the evening, Pat took an opportunity before dinner to recognize all 60 members of the Food Bank’s staff, calling them by department up to the podium, to thank us for the hard work we’re doing and for our dedication to the people we serve.

After dinner, the evening got a bit emotional as Pat put aside her notes to praise the partnership between the Sussex Community Corrections’ Sussex Work Release Center, noting that the nine Culinary School students who prepared our dinner were associated with the center in Georgetown.

Guests could see that the students were proud of their accomplishments, that they respected Chef Hunter and “Miss Pat,” that the Culinary School made a big difference in their lives, that they were looking forward to internships, to the May 8 graduation ceremonies, and to meaningful employment opportunities.

The details of that story, and more, are left for another day.

For more information on how to volunteer and support the Food Bank of Delaware, visit

Check out photos from last night’s dinner!

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