Food Bank Kicks Off Annual Thanksgiving Drive

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fbThe Food Bank of Delaware kicked off its annual Thanksgiving food drive today on Monday, October 14. The hunger-relief organization asks for the community’s assistance in collecting food items in order to create 2,700 Thanksgiving meal boxes for families in need.

Through the food bank’s Thanksgiving for All holiday box distribution, eligible 501(c)3 organizations in New Castle and Kent counties will have an opportunity to pick up free meal boxes from the Food Bank of Delaware for families in need. Organizations in Sussex County may sign up for Mountaire Farm’s Thanksgiving for Thousands distribution.

To help fill the boxes, the Food Bank is asking for the public’s assistance in making sure that no Delawarean goes without a holiday meal this season. Businesses, schools, faith-based organizations and other community groups are encouraged to organize food drives throughout the holiday season. Food for the Thanksgiving boxes must be received by Friday, November 15.

“Starting November 1, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients will automatically receive a decrease in their monthly benefits as a result of the expiration of the increase provided by the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “This will be detrimental for many, especially seniors, families with children and the disabled. We are preparing for the worst. To help meet the increased demand, especially during the holiday season, we encourage Delawareans to step up to help their neighbors in need.”

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.

During the Thanksgiving Food Drive the Food Bank is in need of macaroni and cheese, canned or packets of gravy, pie crust, chocolate pudding mix, canned pumpkin, cranberry sauce, seasoned stuffing mix, biscuit mix, instant mashed potatoes, canned vegetables including green beans, corn, yams and peas, Canned fruits including pineapple and apple sauce, pancake mix and syrup, apple juice, shelf-stable milk, turkey roasting pans and frozen turkeys.

“The Holiday Food Drive is always important, because the Food Bank of Delaware wants to be sure that we stand ready to meet the needs of the community during this special time of year,” commented Chad Robinson, Food Bank of Delaware Milford Branch Director. “Hunger never goes on vacation or gets a holiday, we know that families want to be sure that during this time of year they are able to put a holiday meal on the table.”

Those who collect more than 20 boxes/bags of donated food may make arrangements with the Food Bank of Delaware to have donations picked up. In an effort to save money on transportation costs, the food bank asks that donations of fewer than 20 bags/boxes be dropped off at the food bank’s Newark or Milford facilities. The Food Bank of Delaware Milford is located at 1040 Mattlind Way off Airport Road. For more information about hosting a holiday food drive, individuals can visit http://www.fbd.org/holiday-food-drives/. To sign up to receive holiday meal boxes, please contact Barbara Brkovich at (302) 292-1305 ext 259 or bbrkovich@fbd.org. Households in need of food assistance may call the Delaware Helpline by dialing 2-1-1 (or 1-800-464-4357).

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