Food Bank, Amazon partnership helps family facing food insecurity

September 24, 2020

Like many of the people served by the Food Bank of Delaware, the COVID-19 pandemic is quite real and personal for one family.  At the time of her phone interview, Sally – not her real name – was anxiously awaiting her COVID test results. Her father, who resides in her household, had tested positive for the virus.

Things were already stressful in Sally’s home, and that’s why this Newark resident checked the Food Bank’s web site – www.fbd.org – to see what kind of assistance was available for her family.

The family relies on her Social Security check; she’s unable to work, so funds are limited. Her 16-year-old son attends a school in Wilmington, and Sally wondered if she could sign him up for the Backpack program, weekend meal distributed through participating schools. “I used to get help from a church, but I’m not able to get there now,” she said.

Although Sally doesn’t drive, she has at times been able to get food for her family at a mobile pantry site or picking up food boxes through the Healthy Pantry Center at the Food Bank’s Newark site . . . but only if she can find someone willing to offer her transportation.

Sally was immediately interested in the new partnership between Amazon and the Food Bank of Delaware: Amazon delivers food to client’s homes.

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. Ms. 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,” she said. She expects the program to expand since Amazon just purchased a refrigerated van which will allow meat delivery. We now serve about 85 families in New Castle County.

Ms. Stuckey emails clients every week to confirm a delivery is needed or expected. “Most people have been very positive about it,” she added.

Although Sally and her family are new to the program, she’s quite appreciative. “It’s nice to have fresh fruits and vegetables. This has been very, very helpful. Deliveries have been prompt too.  I have been trying to feed four people on my Social Security. We squeeze by, but we need assistance to make it,” she said.

Click here to learn about assistance through the Food Bank’s Healthy Pantry Center.

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