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Food Bank of Delaware’s Culinary School to participate in Delaware Wine and Beer Festival

11059760_894210060602097_5557862433332571848_nThe Food Bank of Delaware is proud to be selected as the beneficiary of the Food Truck Challenge for Charity at this year’s Delaware Wine and Beer Festival set for Saturday, Oct. 17 at the Delaware Agricultural Museum and Village in Dover.

In additional to the opportunity to sample nearly 100 varieties of handcrafted beer, wine and spirits, festival-goers will be given one free ballot to vote in the Food Truck Challenge for best entrée, best desert and best appearing set-up.

Additional ballots will be sold for $1 each, and 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit the Food Bank of Delaware with branches in Newark and Milford.

The Food Bank’s Culinary School in Milford will be a feature of the festival, with students preparing, sampling, and selling foods they have prepared.

The Food Bank of Delaware Culinary Schools (one at each branch) have graduated more than 450 students since its inception in 2002.

The 14-week program prepares adults for entry level positions in the food service industry, and the program includes 12 weeks of classroom instruction followed by a two-week paid internship that can lead to a job.

“The Food Bank of Delaware is thrilled to be the benefactor of this year’s Delaware Wine and Beer Festival,” said Chad Robinson, Milford branch director. “This is a great opportunity to give our students hands-on-experience working a food event. We look forward to showing the community how talented our students are.”

Tickets for the festival are now on sale at several price points: VIP tickets, $50 per person; general admission, $35 each; designated driver, $10 each; and a Libations weekend package that includes lodging, admission and Sunday brunch for $299 per couple.

The festival, owned and managed by Kent County Tourism, also includes live music, craft and artisan vendors, a keg-tossing competition, and more.

For more information and tickets, visit, or find the festival on Facebook and Pinterest.

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Join us for Dinner in the Orchard on September 3

Charlie Smith and Dave MarvelThe quiet, secluded, pastoral setting of an old-fashioned orchard sets the stage for Dinner in the Orchard, a benefit for the Food Bank of Delaware.

The event, open to the public, is planned from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 3 at T.S. Smith & Sons in Bridgeville.

Ticket holders will enjoy farm-fresh foods from Sussex County farms prepared by students from The Culinary School at the Food Bank’s Milford Branch, craft beer from Mispillion River Brewing Company, fine wines, live entertainment007 from the Swing Noteables and carriage rides through the farm courtesy of Circle C Outfit.

The evening opens with appetizers, including gazpacho topped with Old Bay shrimp, fried eggplant with honey, prosciutto pinwheels and more. The entrees include fried chicken, grilled steak, poached salmon with watercress and peaches and black bean tacos with guacamole. There will be an abundance of side dishes, such as potato and zucchini hash, bourbon bacon slaw, corn and tomato salad, and fusilli with broccoli, red beans and roasted tomatoes.

068No dining experience is complete without dessert, and the Food Bank’s Executive Chef Instructor Tim Hunter and the students will prepare blackberry cantaloupe salad and watermelon salad.

Tickets are just $30 per person. For more information, call 302-444-8074 or visit

Thank you, sponsors:

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation
Circle C Outfit
Insight Homes
T.S. Smith & Sons

Tri Gas & Oil Co., Inc.

Del-One Federal Credit Union
Sussex County Association of Realtors
Trinity Foundation
Zitvogel Farms

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Volunteer Spotlight: Paul B.

DSC_0610By Chris Willis, Communications Intern

There are many reasons why people give back to the community, and there are many worthy causes right here in the First State. Paul B. gives back to the community by volunteering at the Food Bank of Delaware’s Newark facility. He has volunteered at the Food Bank for the past three years and has grown to enjoy it more by the years.

“It’s like a job, because I love coming in,” he says. This mission of the Food Bank has become near and dear to his heart. The people who work here  are pleasant and inspiring, he points out. This has led to his desire to volunteer for the longterm. He believes that if everyone comes in and does their part, hunger in Delaware can be overcome.

A dedicated employee at Chrysler for 30 years, Paul doesn’t like to sit around now that he’s retired. He would rather volunteer  at the Food Bank and other places as there’s always something to do. He feels that he can make an impact by volunteering his time. “I don’t want to be selfish, I would rather help out as much as I can,” says Paul.

He also calls out to other fellow retirees or anyone that has extra time on their hands.. Paul advises, “If they can do the work, it will make things easier as projects must keep going on,” referring to programs like the Summer Nutrition Program and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. For those unable to volunteer, he encourages individuals to help in other ways such as donating food or funds.

Paul believes that every bit of help the community can provide will make a different to benefit those in need.He tips his hat to all the people who give to the Food Bank. Paul is just one of many dedicated volunteers who walk through the doors to give a day of hard work.

Want to make a difference in our community? Visit to sign up to volunteer!

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Culinary Student Spotlight: April Selby

By Chris Willis, Communications Intern

The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware has been beneficial for many who have stepped through the doors of the kitchen. April Selby is evidenceDSC_0596. Looking to expand her skills, April enrolled in The Culinary School at the urging of her daughter.

April’s experience has been rewarding so far.  “It’s been a phenomenal experience,” she says. “I really have enjoyed it.”

Some skills she has been practicing include cutting, chopping, julienne and sauté.

She also has picked up tricks like saving leftovers that can be used for  making fresh sauces and cooking down skins into fats to be used again. April has been a sponge to the teachings of Chef Instructor Sean McNeice.

Some of these teachings include being introduced to a commercial kitchen, learning culinary mathematics, basic cooking techniques, presentation and baking skills, knife handling basics, ServSafe® food safety skills and more.

Some of April’s fondest memories so far include participating in a food competition with fellow classmates. She presented a citrus chicken dish, and prior to the competition, she struggled with the dish, but that day she shined.

“Everyone was raving about my chicken sauce, and that made me feel like I’ve come into my element, which is a good feeling,” she said.

April’s favorite recipe to prepare is hollandaise sauce for its “fluff and great taste.”

Looking ahead to the future, April wants to use her skills in the culinary arts to improve the community.

“I like feeding the homeless and needy so now what I would do is to give them culinary dishes and let them enjoy them as that that may be their only opportunity to do so,” she says.

The mission of The Culinary School is two-fold. First students are taught skills that are highly desirable to employers in the food industry and second, these newly developed skills have the potential to lead to jobs in the industry that provide job security and economic sustainability. Since the school’s inception, The Culinary School has graduated more than 450 students. To learn more about The Culinary School, please visit

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Kent County’s Bounty: Farm to Fork Dinner

Farm dinnerThe Food Bank of Delaware will benefit from a Farm-to-Fork Dinner hosted by the Kent County Farm Bureau.

The evening starts at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 22 with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails. Dinner will be served at 7 p.m. at the family-owned and operated dairy farm owned by the Knutsen family.

The gourmet meal will be prepared by Abbott’s Grill and Chef Instructor Tim Hunter and his students from The Culinary School at the Food Bank’s Milford Branch.

“It’s our first event, and we are looking forward to a success,” said Caroline Folz, Farm Bureau spokeswoman.

The menu will feature a full dinner, including locally raised meats and in-season produce exclusively from Kent County farmers and Farm Bureau members, including but not limited to T.A. Farms and Fifer Orchards. The evening also includes wine and beer from Kent County, namely Harvest Ridge Winery and Mispillion River Brewing Co.

Stephanie and Gregg Knutsen will be on hand for tours and to speak about their dairy operation.

Tickets are $100 each and are available at

For more information, including sponsorship information, contact or call 697-3183.

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Recap: Food Lion Feeds Hunger Relief Day at the Delaware State Fair

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

The annual Delaware State Fair is one of the state’s premier events, a celebration of our agricultural heritage, an entertainment venue, and for some, a dining destination.

For the Food Bank of Delaware, the fair is also an opportunity to partner with Food Lion to collect donations for state residents who are challenged by insufficient food resources.

On Monday, Food Bank, Food Lion, Delaware State Fair staff and Lake Forest School District  worked side by side at the 4th annual Hunger Relief Day.

Here’s how it worked: each fair-goer who brought five Food Lion-brand canned or boxed goods to the table received a one-day admission to the fair.

It was a win-win scenario: fair-goers helped our mission by donating food and saved themselves an admission fee.

Staffing the table was a pretty simple job, one that was bustling though, as soon as the fair shuttle unloaded. Pick up the cans. Take them to the waiting totes, or the super-big cardboard boxes.

The table was open from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m., with late afternoon/ early evening being the busiest time. We even received a special visit from Senator Tom Carper! He dropped off three large bags!

Once the totes were full, they were loaded by forklift into a truck. They were trucked back to our Milford warehouse and weighed this morning.

In 2014, we collected 23,000 pounds of food; this year, the total was a bit less, weighing in at 19,516 pounds – the equivalent of 23,419 meals! This year’s lower amount can be attributed to the fact that both boxed and canned goods were encouraged. We all know that a box of cereal weighs significantly less than a can of vegetables. However, regardless of weight, all of these food items are of great importance to families in Delaware! Our goal is to provide a nutritionally-balanced meal to Delawareans in need – canned and boxed goods allows us to do that!

The Food Bank collaborates with 620 hunger-relief program partners, community-based organizations who help distribute food to those in need, so those donations will have a positive impact on the lives of fellow Delawareans.

In addition to the food drive, Asia, our Community Nutrition Educator, hosted a cooking demonstration during the afternoon hours. She showed fairgoers how to make healthy pizza bites using fresh zucchini. For the recipe, please visit our Facebook page! (While you are there, be sure to like us!)

Thanks to all for another great year at the Fair!

For more information on the Food Bank of Delaware, visit

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Top three myths about the Food Bank of Delaware

By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator

Maybe we could do a better job communicating what the Food Bank of Delaware does and what we’re all about? I say this as a member of the communications team, and because I frequently encounter people who think we simply hand out food and that’s that.

So I’m here to dispel three myths about the Food Bank of Delaware:

  1. The mission of the Food Bank of Delaware is to give food to hungry people. Yes, and no! Our mission is to eliminate hunger in Delaware, but our distribution system is supported by community partners, 620 hunger-relief program partners statewide. So, people can’t just walk into one of our warehouses and walk out with a bag full of food.

Our partners, churches, schools and non-profit agencies, regularly distribute food to families who meet specific income criteria.

We have a program which provides a meal box of food each month to senior citizens, and at Thanksgiving, our clients receive a holiday meal during a special distribution. For those who are in need of emergency food assistance, we always refer them to Delaware 2-1-1, Delaware’s Health and Social Services helpline. The team at Delaware 2-1-1 can refer callers to local organizations that can assist with not only emergency food assistance, but also utility bills, housing and more.

  1. Thanksgiving is our busiest time of year. Definitely not! Yes, we’re quite busy just before Thanksgiving and Christmas, but summer is our most demanding season. Surprised? During the summer, we have special programs that focus on the needs of children. Think about it: students aren’t in school and don’t have access to breakfast and lunch served in those cafeterias. So we have a very active Summer Food Service Program, one that delivers breakfast, lunch and dinners to sites up and down the state. The food is distributed to children through child-care centers, libraries, community centers, apartment complexes, and churches neighborhoods and more!

And there’s another level of community involvement in the summer: these programs, like most of ours, rely heavily on volunteers. Volunteers pack meals, help with clerical duties, cleaning out coolers, and many more jobs most people never see or think about.

  1. The Food Bank deals only with shelf-stable food. No! Sure we distribute plenty of canned goods, peanut butter, tuna, and pasta, but the Food Bank is so much more than that.

We help clients gain access to fresh produce, teach people how to garden, either individually or in communities, and also offer cooking classes for children and seniors. In addition, we offer financial literacy support in the $tand by Me program, and we assist people in accessing support programs, including SNAP. We are very proud of our two Culinary Schools that train people for employment in the food service industry.

The list of programs is long, and it’s growing. Each one is led by trained, educated, competent people committed to our mission.

So, if you think the Food Bank is limited to providing a helping hand at the holidays, be assured, we’re working hard all year ‘round.

Check us out at

Here’s a look at how our food distribution system works!


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