Cecilia never expected to need assistance, but she’s had to reach out for help. Now a resident of the Bear area of New Castle County, she left New Jersey and the job she held for 25 years to care for her elderly father two and a half years ago.
During that time, her health insurance expired and she had to apply not only for Medicaid, but also for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, impacting her mobility due to her father’s age and health situation.
Cecilia remains positive despite challenges. While applying for SNAP – formerly known as food stamp benefits – at the Food Bank of Delaware, she learned that she and her father qualified for food from the Healthy Pantry Center.
However, again like many clients, transportation is an issue. “My car is 17 years old, and there’s no air conditioning,” she said. Cecilia would need to pick up her food box at the Food Bank’s Newark site, and in addition to her car’s condition, she recognized that she faced additional challenges. “My father is 93 years old, and he can’t go out in the heat,” she said. “And with COVID, taking him out is too difficult.”
Thanks to a new partnership with Amazon, clients like Cecilia and her father can have food boxes delivered to their door once a week. Cecilia said the delivery service has been beneficial. “It’s just great . . . wonderful. I’m happy. No complaints. If I use pubic transportation, I would have to lug everything home. And with the COVID situation, it’s wonderful,” she said.
The Food Bank’s Executive Coordinator Iskeisha Stuckey got the program rolling after receiving an email with Amazon’s offer to deliver food to people unable to pick it up themselves. Stuckey reached out to state case workers who in turn provided the client connections. “We know there are people out there who need help. It’s been growing really fast; we’re already up to 72,” she said. She expects the program to expand since Amazon just purchased a refrigerated van which will allow meat delivery.
Stuckey emails clients every week to confirm a delivery is needed or expected. “Most people have been very positive about it,” she added.
Visit www.fbd.org to learn more about other Food Bank of Delaware programs.