Food Bank of Delaware honors outstanding supporters at annual dinner

April 28, 2017

Last night, the Food Bank of Delaware honored nine supporters who have played a critical role in the early stages of the organization’s Creating a Bold Future capital campaign. The campaign seeks to raise $10.5 million to fund the retrofit of the Food Bank’s future home at 222 Lake Drive in Newark. In addition to the awards banquet, attendees were also treated to a dinner prepared by students from The Culinary School in Newark and Milford.

This year’s honorees include:

Agricultural Partner of the Year – Dupont: The startup of the Food Bank production farm and exterior space at 222 Lake Drive would not be possible without the support of Dupont. Dupont generously donated $250,000 for the exterior space at 222 Lake Drive. This funding will help create a three to four-acre production farm and a farm stand to sell produce grown straight from the farm. Dupont’s support aligns with its commitment to addressing issues of food security on both the international and local levels through sustainable agriculture business development and fostering collaboration between businesses, non-profit organizations and governments. As a corporation, Dupont has developed corporate goals to enhance global food security by 2020.

Bold Future Leadership Award – Jerry Heisler: The retrofit of 222 Lake Drive requires industry expertise. Fortunately for the Food Bank of Delaware, Jerry Heisler, Executive Manager of the Reybold Group, stepped up to the plate to guide the Food Bank through the construction process as an Owner’s Representative. Over the past several months, Jerry has advised the Food Bank on important decisions regarding vendors, budgeting and more. His knowledge has provided valuable insight allowing the organization to continue to stay on mission through the early stages of the construction process.

Bold Future Leadership Award – Alan Levin and Fred Sears: Raising $10.5 million for the retrofit at 222 Lake Drive will require the support of the entire community. As capital campaign co-chairs, Alan Levin and Fred Sears have helped facilitate support for the project from government entities, businesses and generous individuals. Together, they have provided guidance on communicating the campaign to the public and helped to build excitement in the community for this much-needed project.

Social Entrepreneurship Award – Discover Bank: Generating revenues through social entrepreneurship to support the mission of the Food Bank of Delaware will be a cornerstone at 222 Lake Drive. Discover Bank is committed to supporting the entrepreneurial spirit of local nonprofits. The bank stepped up early and donated $120,000 to help jumpstart the new cafe at 222 Lake Drive. Discover Bank understands that today’s nonprofits must identify sustainable ways to fund programs and initiatives. The bank is also committing resources to help the Food Bank conduct a study on whether a food hub at 222 Lake Drive to improve distribution and logistics of Delaware-grown produce is a feasible business model for future implementation.

Workforce Development Partner of the Year – Barclays: As the Food Bank prepares for the move to 222 Lake Drive, the organization has started to expand programming to better meet the needs of alumni of The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware and the food service industry. Last summer the organization added the National Restaurant Association’s ManageFirst curriculum to help employees progress in their career. Thanks to the generosity of Barclays and a $125,000 donation for culinary programing, the Food Bank is able to continue the ManageFirst curriculum this summer, while also expanding training opportunities for students. This summer students will set up hot dog carts throughout New Castle County providing customer service training and other soft skills training. In addition, the funding will allow the Food Bank to provide students with scholarships to attend The Culinary School.

Advocate of the Year – New Castle County Councilman David Tackett: Navigating the tax code and permitting process in New Castle County has been made easier thanks to the assistance of New Castle County Councilman David Tackett. 222 Lake Drive is located in Councilman Tackett’s district, and he has emerged as a leader and advocate. Councilman Tackett has introduced the Food Bank to other colleagues within the political realm and has become one of the Food Bank’s go-to people in New Castle County government.

Spirit of Volunteerism Award – Bank of America: Bank of America has made a commitment as an organization to fight hunger on all fronts in Delaware through donations of funds, food and time. In the past year, Bank of America associates have visited 894 times for a total of 2,454 hours of time donated. With their dedication to volunteerism, it was only fitting that Bank of America would make an early commitment to support the future volunteer room at 222 Lake Drive. The Bank of America Volunteer Room will be a reality thanks to a $300,000 pledge.

Legal Partner of the Year – The Danneman Firm: When the Food Bank purchased the new facility at 222 Lake Drive in July 2016 the organization was in need of a local attorney to assist with the settlement process. The Food Bank was thankful when George Danneman from the Danneman Firm generously donated these services. Steven Kessler, Director of Title Operations and Senior Counsel, handled the transaction making for a seamless process. In addition to walking the Food Bank through the settlement process at 222 Lake Drive, the Danneman Firm assisted with clearing up an erroneous tax bill and reviewing contracts with different vendors.

Spirit of Volunteerism Award: Bank of America

Workforce Development Partner of the Year: Barclays

Legal Partner of the Year: The Danneman Firm

Advocate of the Year: New Castle County Councilman David Tackett

Social Entrepreneurship Award: Discover Bank

Bold Leadership Award: Fred Sears

Bold Leadership Award: Jerry Heisler


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