This Friday, hundreds of New Castle County families struggling to afford food will be able to collect free meals directly from the Food Bank of Delaware.
This is the first time the Food Bank of Delaware is distributing food directly to people in need – typically the Food Bank works with partner organizations, who distribute food directly to their clients.
The New Castle County food give-away is the third in a statewide effort undertaken by the state’s largest emergency food organization. The move comes as part of a continuing response to impacts felt by the partial government shutdown.
Using an outdoor mobile food pantry, the Food Bank already distributed thousands of boxes of food at stops in Dover and Georgetown this month.
Last week, the Food Bank distributed 147,000 pounds of food to 550 families in Dover whose Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits had run out. Dozens of volunteers from Calvary Church and Chesapeake Utilities assisted the Food Bank in this first-ever effort.
When the government shutdown was imminent, the government issued February SNAP benefits early (on Jan 17), leaving some households with as much as a two-month gap between benefits.
“The shutdown brought us into unchartered territory. Food banks have never been in this situation before,” said Kim Turner with the Food Bank of Delaware. “The 500 Federal employees residing in Delaware possibly running out of food was one concern. But our big concern has always been the 136,000 individuals in our state receiving SNAP benefits,” said Turner.
Families on SNAP benefits in New Castle County can drive to Canaan Baptist Church, 3011 New Castle Avenue, New Castle starting at 11 am on February 22. Upon presenting their EBT card, each family will receive a large case of bulk food.
Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Drive
“It is our mission to step up to ensure that no Delawarean goes without food,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “Food-insecure families already have to stretch their monthly food budgets, and we know that SNAP benefits do not last the entire month – 90 percent of SNAP benefits are usually spent within the first three weeks of a month.”
To help meet these increased demands for food assistance, the Food Bank of Delaware and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services have launched a Neighbors Helping Neighbors food drive through March 1.
Most needed foods include:
- Canned meats like tuna fish and chicken
- Canned fruits
- Canned vegetables
- Peanut butter
Food drive organizers are asked to use their own collection boxes. Or collection barrels may be picked up at the Food Bank at 14 Garfield Way, Newark or 1040 Mattlind Way, Milford anytime Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The Food Bank of Delaware will only be able to pick up donations larger than 20 boxes/bags. To learn more, visit: www.fbd.org/government-shutdown.