by Terry Rogers
Amanda Frampton, who teaches Health and Physical Education at Milford High School, saw a need in the community for an additional food bank. Milford’s poverty rate is around 19 percent, higher than the state average of 15 percent, according to City Data. In an effort to help the less fortunate in Milford, Frampton applied to the Delaware Food Bank to create an additional location at Milford High School.
“It took almost eight months before we got approval and received a donator,” Frampton said. “This has been near and dear to my heart and I am honored to see it finally up and running.” The Milford Stay Safe Food Pantry is sponsored by the Harry K. Foundation.
The MHS Food Bank is open to everyone in the community and it is open all year. The Food Bank is open the second and fourth Wednesday of each month during the school year and, during July and August, will be open the second Wednesday of each month.
“The Harry K. Foundation has stepped up to be our sponsor and we are so grateful for what they do for the community,” Frampton said. “We could not do this without their backing. Milford School District has been wonderful support as well with open arms in this whole process. We service families in our community and are looking to grow each year. Student volunteers have helped run the program from the beginning. It is an honor to see them get involved.”
Anna Sollie and Emily Sylvester were Team Leaders for the project this school year, according to Frampton. Both graduated with the Class of 2018, so their assistant’s, Jessica Donovan and Silvara Santiago will take over as leaders for the next school year.
“They do not only run the food pantry, but they also help me run the Backpack program that is set up for our students,” Frampton said. “This is not an easy task sometimes and it is time consuming, but I am honored to be part of it and a part of this community.” The Backpack Program is also a project supported by the Food Bank and the Harry K. Foundation. The program provides backpacks with supplies for healthy meals that children can take home one weekends. It is designed to help children who may otherwise go hungry get nutritious and easy-to-prepare meals on weekends.
The Harry K. Foundation was established on the beliefs and principals of its founder, Harry Keswani. Born in England to parents who were from India, Keswani learned from his parents of the effects of starvation and poverty, especially on children. He and a homeopathic doctor, who was a close friend, worked to provide care to those suffering in India. His friend passed away and Keswani’s desire to help those who were less fortunate grew stronger with the loss of his friend. When he heard that there was a rising hunger problem in his local community and that many school children only consume meals at school, he knew he had to work for change. He created the Harry K. Foundation to support the Delaware Food Bank and all funding raised is dispersed in ways that best serve the community.
Donations for both the Milford Stay Safe Food Bank or the Backpack program can be dropped off at the Milford High School front office or at the Delaware Food Bank.