‘A breath of fresh air’: Food box delivery provides food, more

October 27, 2023

While most of the thousands of neighbors the Food Bank of Delaware serves each week express gratitude and appreciation, not many take the time and effort to write a thank-you letter . . .  one that is sent by snail mail. But Brad, a Newark-area resident, did just that, and typed  “thank you” in capital letters in the first sentence.

At age 40, Brad is disabled; he lives in a one-bedroom apartment with his service dog. Because he is unable to drive, the cabinets in his kitchen have been empty. When his older sister visited, she noticed the bare cupboards, so her husband – his brother-in-law — picked up Brad, driving him about 20 minutes to our Newark facility. Brad reluctantly had to rely on his brother-in-law’s kindness, the trip every two weeks to pick up a food box.

Brad said he tried using the bus to get to the Food Bank, but that was very  inconvenient. Not only did the round trip take at least three hours, he said it was awkward carrying the food box back down to the bus stop. And on the ride home, the box takes up another seat, Brad explained.

That’s past tense because one of Brad’s neighbors told him that the Food Bank provides home delivery to eligible residents who live with in a 15-mile radius, so he signed up. “. . . and last Friday the Dasher right on time handed me a huge box of food,” he wrote.

“It shocked the hell out of me,” he added during a telephone interview.  “I’m a big guy  . . . 6’ 6” and weigh 300, and I like to eat.”

In his letter, he wrote about how he struggled to get food. “. . . I like having a full stomach instead of walking around looking for scraps from people inside the apartment complex.”

After losing his driver’s license  in 2010 to a DUI linked to medication he was prescribed, Brad has been dealing with on-going physical and mental health challenges. But the food box offers more. “It’s a breath of fresh air,” Brad said. In addition to providing nutrition, the food he receives has been an opportunity to experiment with cooking. “I love the instructions on how to cook it. They explained how to make perfect rice, and it worked. Thanks to you guys, I’m becoming a foodie,” he said.

Brad said home delivery service is more than helpful.  “I’m making good process with my health both mental and physical and I hope one day [to] become part of something bigger than me and give what was given to me so freely. I am sending a hand written thank you to the church that sets up the deliveries,” he wrote.

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