Category Archives: Supporters

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 lhumphreys@fbd.org.
  • 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 crobinson@fbd.org.

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 http://www.fbd.volunteerhub.com.

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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 www.fbd.org.

Check out photos from last night’s dinner!

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Volunteers find rewards in lending a hand to the Food Bank of Delaware

0408_Violet02By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

Here at the Food Bank of Delaware we have a special place in our heart for volunteers. After all, they help us fight hunger in Delaware every single day.

Violet Sorden of Milford signed up to volunteer at our Milford site in February. She retired from the state Division of Social Services after 28 years and had become caregiver for her father, but she decided to volunteer in order ”to do something to get out of the house.”

So she comes in each week to help Missy Holochwost, our Senior Nutrition and Mobile Pantry Coordinator, with clerical tasks.

What a perfect match!

“I was a little nervous at first, but everybody here is really friendly. I definitely enjoy it,” Violet said.

As a social service professional, Violet is familiar with the paperwork tied to programs that assist people in need.

So Missy set up a mini-desk/workstation next to the window where Violet makes phone calls or sends out letters during the 6-8 hours a week she volunteers.

“I really missed all of this,” she said. “I enjoyed talking to people on the phone.”

Her time benefits everyone, including our clients.

“This really hit the bell for both of us. I do multiple programs, and I wouldn’t be able to do it without physical help with all the paperwork,” said Missy.

The Food Bank of Delaware offers many volunteer opportunities, including stacking, sorting and packing food donations, preparing and packing meals for children and creating meal boxes that go to seniors and families.

Last year, there were 15,691 volunteer visits to the Food Bank, totaling 41,455 hours or the equivalent of 19 full-time staff members.

Volunteers are always welcome and opportunities can be found at http://www.fbd.volunteerhub.com!

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J.G. Townsend Jr. & Company donates close to 60,000 pounds of frozen produce to Food Bank of Delaware

Pictured (left to right): Solomon Henry (Plant Manager), Chad Robinson (Milford Branch Director), Roger Townsend (Company Owner), Bill Lingo (Company Owner), John Lingo (Company Owner), Gene Bayard (Company Owner), Derrick Lingo (Company Owner) and Paul Townsend (Company Owner). Not pictured: Owner Bryce Lingo

Pictured (left to right): Solomon Henry (Plant Manager), Chad Robinson (Milford Branch Director), Roger Townsend (Company Owner), Bill Lingo (Company Owner), John Lingo (Company Owner), Gene Bayard (Company Owner), Derrick Lingo (Company Owner) and Paul Townsend (Company Owner). Not pictured: Owner Bryce Lingo

Remember Talley’s blog from a few weeks ago announcing a donation of 40,000 pounds of fresh, locally-grown produce from J.G. Towsend Jr. & Company? Well, we are excited to announce that the Georgetown company has donated an additional 19,000-plus pounds to us! This brings their total donation to close to 60,000 pounds of frozen black-eyed peas, green peas and beans!

The donation filled close to 6 Food Bank of Delaware trucks. The bulk produce will be individually-packaged as part of our new Produce Access Program. The program’s aim is to provide more fruits and vegetables to low-income Delawareans. This initiative shifts the organization towards a more proactive food sourcing strategy and commits additional resources to ensure a better, more consistent supply of produce.

Food Bank of Delaware volunteers will bag up the donated produce in to 6”x10” pouches. The bags are placed into coolers to ensure proper temperature control while they await the vacuum sealer. Once they are sealed, labels are affixed to the bags with information about the product, the food bank’s address and cooking instructions. Volunteers take the finished bags and pack them into cases before they are brought back into the freezer for temporary storage.

“Everyone at J.G. Townsend is once again excited to be able to partner with the Food Bank of Delaware,” said Owner Lloyd Richter. “We look forward to a long-lasting relationship in the fight against hunger in our state.”

“We are so thankful for J.G. Townsend Jr. & Company’s generosity,” said Food Bank of Delaware Milford Branch Director Chad Robinson. “The donation is our largest since launching our new Produce Access Program. We hope J.G. Townsend’s kindness will inspire other local growers and processors to assist with our efforts to alleviate hunger in the state.”

For more information about the Food Bank of Delaware’s new Produce Access Program, please contact Matt Talley, Produce Access Program Coordinator, at (302) 292-1305 ext 249 or mtalley@fbd.org.

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