The Food Bank of Delaware celebrated their new Capital Campaign on Monday, December 6 with members of the U.S. Congress, state legislators and the community of Milford. The Capital Campaign is aimed at raising money for the expansion of the Milford branch located off of Airport Rd. The expansion is needed to facilitate hunger assistance activities in Kent and Sussex Counties. Patricia Beebe, President of the Food Bank of Delaware commented that the expansion “will allow the food bank to meet the demands of food assistance; ensure that children receive proper nutrition in order to learn and grow; and provide job training to residents in Kent and Sussex Counties.
Senator Tom Carper, Congressman Elect John Carney and State Representative Harvey Kenton and Jack Peterman were among the elected officials who joined the press conference to kick off the Capital Campaign. Senator Carper emphasized the role of federal assistance to the Food Bank by stating “It is the role of the government to steer the boat, not row.” Senator Carper has been a longtime supporter and sponsor of the Food Bank of Delaware. Congressman Elect John Carney made a point to thank his predecessor Congressman Castle in his efforts of supporting the cause of the Food Bank. Mr. Carney commented that he “looks forward to rolling up his sleeves and getting work done.”
The expansion of the Milford facility will help “provide nutritious foods to Delawareans and provide long-term solutions to the problems of hunger and poverty.” The focus of this new endeavor will include five key areas: Children’s nutritional programs, volunteer programs, The Market at the Food Bank of Delaware, Teacher Supply Closet, and The Culinary School.
The construction of the Culinary School will provide job training to unemployed and underemployed individuals. This 12-week program includes 10 weeks of hands-on training in basic and high-end kitchen skill and safe food handling skills. Two weeks of the school will be reserved for an internship at a food service company, restaurant, or catering business. The goal of the program is to “empower students to lift themselves out of poverty through education and obtain employment that will allow them to make a living wage,” stated Mrs. Timmons. Employment is one benefit of this program but the education will also allow individuals to increase their food budget by showing students how to prepare food for beyond just one meal.
The projected Grand Project Total for the expansion is $3,196,186 and will be an undertaking supported by federal, state, and community donations. The expected impact is to double the number of afterschool meals produced, improve operations and efficiency of the Backpack Program, double the number of volunteers, serve approximately 200 people/families per month through the market and reduce the number of individuals who need food assistance in Kent and Sussex Counties.