Help Fill Empty Plates this Thanksgiving Season

Photo Source: Food Bank of Delaware.
Photo Source: Food Bank of Delaware.

The Food Bank of Delaware’s (FBD) annual Thanksgiving for All food drive is in full swing.The hunger-relief organization asks for the community’s assistance in collecting food items and monetary donations in order to create 2,500 Thanksgiving meal boxes for families in need. 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.

According to FBD, 122,000-plus Delawareans are considered food insecure. The FBD network of hunger relief partners, food closets, soup kitchens and shelters, receives more than 900,000 visits each year. An estimated 71% of households report that they have chosen between paying for food and utilities and an estimated 66% of households have chosen between buying food and paying their rent or mortgage. With one in five Delaware children living in poverty, according to 2014 Hunger in America study, 90.5% of clients served have children who participate in the free or reduced-price lunch program at school.

“It’s important that we step up as a community to meet the needs of our most vulnerable citizens,” stated Kim Turner of the Food Bank of Delaware. “Many families serviced by our network of partners, once donated their food and money and volunteered their time. Now they are in need of help themselves. Many of us are just one paycheck away from needing emergency food assistance.”

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 13. Food received after that time will be distributed to the Food Bank’s network of Hunger-Relief Program Partners. Several items are needed including canned vegetables, evaporated milk/shelf-stable milk, canned pumpkin, canned fruit, juice, corn muffin mix, mashed potatoes, gravy and frozen turkeys.

“Food from our annual food drive will benefit local organizations that are directly distributing food to the public,” said Turner. “Senior citizens, children, working adults, adults with disabilities, veterans and other community members benefit from these holiday food donations.”

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 organization’s Newark or Milford facilities. The Milford facility is located at 1040 Mattlind Way, Milford, DE 19963 with hours on Monday through Friday at 8:30 am to 4 pm. Members of the community may also drop off their holiday nonperishable donations to DART First State’s Stuff the Bus event November 10 through 13.