Food Bank of Delaware celebrates grand opening of new Milford facility
January 15, 2024
Perdue Farms makes first donation to help stock new freezers
The Food Bank of Delaware marked the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service holiday by officially cutting the ribbon on its new 70,000-square-foot facility in Milford this morning. The ceremony culminated an almost three-year project to build a new facility to enhance services to residents of Kent and Sussex counties.
More than 400 guests were on hand to participate in grand opening festivities. After the ribbon was cut, Perdue Chicken delivered the first donation to the facility – two truckloads of chicken – weighing in at more than 83,000 pounds. Attendees also participated in a Day of Service project, packing meal bags for the Food Bank of Delaware’s weekend meal program for kids, the Backpack Program.
The new facility features:
- Expanded cold storage and warehouse space to distribute upwards of 3.7 million pounds of fresh foods and six million pounds of nonperishable food.
- A Healthy Pantry Center to directly serve those in need of food assistance. The pantry is set up like a mini grocery store so families can select the foods best suited for their households.
- A volunteer room where volunteers can sort and pack donations, create meal boxes and bags, and more.
- Classroom and hands-on training space for workforce development programs in culinary and warehousing/logistics.
- Space to plant a 3.5-acre garden to grow fresh foods for the community.
- An on-site café to provide employment opportunities to graduates of the culinary training program, while offering a place for members of the public to buy breakfast and lunch.
“What an incredible day to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Cathy Kanefsky. “Today, we come together to celebrate a new chapter for our community. This facility represents more than just a building. It embodies our collective commitment of service to others with respect and dignity. This building symbolizes hope for so many. The project has been years in the making, and there are so many who united with us to make this vision a reality. I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all who made today possible.”
United States Sen. Tom Carper also spoke at the ceremony.
“This much-needed new Food Bank facility in Milford was made possible by the hard-working staff, volunteers, and generous supporters of the Food Bank of Delaware,” said Carper. I’m proud to work with my fellow Congressional Delegation Members to deliver $7 million from the American Rescue Plan Act to help this project become a reality,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) “I had a chance to walk through the construction of this site several months ago and was impressed with the planning that went into every corner of this facility to ensure we are meeting the needs of Kent and Sussex families – from supplying food to providing job training. As we say in the Navy, ‘Bravo Zulu’ to everyone that had a hand in today!”
To learn more about getting involved at the new facility including volunteer opportunities, hours for the new Healthy Pantry Center, and café, visit www.fbd.org/Milford. Applications are also currently being accepted for the Food Bank’s culinary training programs and for the first-ever warehousing/logistics training program at the Milford branch. The next class starts Monday, January 29. To learn more, visit www.fbd.org/delawarefoodworks.