Food Bank Encourages Holiday Food Drives

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The Food Bank of Delaware provides nutritious foods to Delawareans in need while facilitating long-term solutions to the problems of hunger and poverty in our area through education and advocacy. Although the mission of the Food Bank is one that continues throughout the year, it is the holiday season when the organization and the surrounding communities collaborate to increase their impact on those in need.

“Now Thanksgiving is over and we are kicking it into high gear,” commented Milford Food Bank Manager Chad Robinson. “This time of year it is amazing to see the desire that people have to help their neighbors.”

The Food Bank of Delaware is asking for the public’s assistance this holiday season by getting involved with their Holiday Food Drives. Businesses, schools, faith-based organizations and other community groups are encouraged to organize food drives throughout the holiday season. The hunger-relief organization hopes to collect more than 150,000 pounds of food for the less fortunate this holiday season. With 2012 donations down by more than 1.4 million pounds from 2011, the Food Bank Holiday Food Drives will be essential to making sure that no Delaware family goes hungry this holiday season.

Food collected from the holiday food drive will be distributed to people in need through the Food Bank’s network of 508 hunger-relief program partners. These hunger-relief agencies include churches, food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, low-income daycare centers, rehabilitation programs and senior centers. Organizations who are interested in serving as a drop-off location for holiday food donations can contact Christine Evans, Community Outreach Coordinator  at cevans@fbd.org or (302) 292-1305 ext 253.

In addition to drop-off locations the organization is asking individuals to donate their time to volunteer at Food Bank locations to help continue their year-round programs such as the BackPack program which provides children that receive free and reduced lunch at school with meals over the weekend. Over 4,000 backpacks are packed and handed out each week to meet the demand of local children in need.

“We hear stories of kids rushing into the breakfast lines after the weekend because they have not had a proper meal since Friday afternoon,” commented Robinson. “It is hard to imagine if you have never been through it but it is something that really hits home this time of year.”

During the holidays the Food Bank is in need of  items such as macaroni and cheese, canned or packets of gravy, pie crust, chocolate pudding mix, cranberry sauce, canned pumpkin, seasoned stuffing mix, biscuit mix, instant mashed potatoes, canned vegetables (green beans, corn, yams and peas), canned fruits (pineapple and apple sauce), pancake mix and syrup, shelf-stable milk (32 oz.), apple juice, turkey roasting pans, frozen turkeys (drop off to Newark or Milford warehouses only). For more information on how to help the Delaware Food Bank this holiday season visit www.fbd.org or call the Milford Branch at 302-424-3301. For emergency food assistance, individuals are encouraged to call the Delaware Helpline by dialing 211.

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