The plight of the hungry and a strong sense of purpose brought together hundreds of long-time supporters of the Ministry of Caring last night to celebrate a milestone anniversary of the Emmanuel Dining Room.
A vibrant community of staff, volunteers and donors – people who have made a difference for neighbors in need – gathered on the occasion of Emmanuel Dining Room’s 40th anniversary on Wednesday at the DuPont Country Club.
Co-chaired by Barbra Andrisani, Dr. Damian Andrisani and his wife Jen Andrisani and Julie Cawley, the evening served to thank the many supporters who did so much over four decades to meet the urgent needs of those less fortunate.
EDR serves 550 nutritious meals a day across three locations in Wilmington and New Castle – free of charge – to Delaware’s hungry.
“The support is truly incredible,” said Brother Ronald Giannone, OFM Cap., founder and executive director of the Ministry of Caring.
Giannone says his organization relies on the partnership of 99 churches and synagogues. “And it does your heart good where we’re not talking about differences and religion, but we’re uniting by caring for the hungry and the least among us,” he said.
Teams of volunteers take turns creating and delivering hundreds of meals on a daily basis, something Brother Ronald noted has been essential to the organization’s long-term success. “I could never ever serve 160,000 meals in one year, it would cost a fortune!”
Many officeholders turned out to support the evening’s program, including Governor John Carney, New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer, State Auditor Kathy McGuiness, State Sen. Ernie Lopez, and former U.S. Sen. Ted Kaufman.
The Imagination Players, a youth performance troupe that travels the state spreading goodwill through community service, performed God Bless America and A Million Dreams. And speakers like Marilyn Monahan, a longtime supporter of the Ministry of Caring offered reflections about the impact of Emmanuel Dining Room on citizens throughout the state.
“I often wonder what life would be like for those who seek our services if the Ministry did not exist,” said Marilyn Monahan. “Your presence here speaks volumes to the love, respect and affection that you hold for EDR and its work as well as the Ministry. Tonight we pause in our hectic lives to celebrate in faith and gratitude the work of the Emanuel Dining Room and the impact it has on so many lives.”
Giannone thanked the audience for “showing a willingness to continually recognize the needs of those less fortunate and the desire to do our part to alleviate the suffering of our neighbors.”