Food Bank of Delaware honors outstanding supporters at annual dinner
April 22, 2016
Last night the Food Bank of Delaware honored seven supporters who have played a critical role in the organization’s efforts to alleviate hunger in Delaware this year.
This year’s honorees include:
Volunteer of the Year – Phil Williamson: Phil first started volunteering with Walgreen’s team, and after he retired he continued his commitment to the Food Bank of Delaware. Although he’s a relatively new volunteer, he is one of the Food Bank’s most consistent and committed. He helps out every Tuesday and Thursday morning and has taken on a humble leadership role during those shifts. He’s a hard worker and helps pack the nearly 6,000 weekend meals distributed to school students through the Backpack Program.
Volunteer of the Year – Becky Varlas: Becky has been a dedicated volunteer for the Food Bank of Delaware for two years, dedicating more than 275 to assist with the program department. This retired teacher handles a multitude of clerical duties for the Mobile Pantry and Senior Nutrition programs, and reliably volunteers each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.
Corporate Donor of the Year – Chesapeake Utilities: Chesapeake Utilities is solid partner with the Food Bank of Delaware in providing Thanksgiving meals for hungry Delawareans. In the past five years, they donated $98,500 to the Food Bank through Chesapeake Cares. The money is used to purchases the food for Thanksgiving boxes distributed in Kent and Sussex counties. In addition, Chesapeake Utilities staff volunteers to pack the boxes and assist during distribution days. Chesapeake Utilities also supports our other fund-raising events, including the Blue Jean Ball and Dinner in the Orchard.
Supporter of the Year – Montchanin Design: Michael Looney from Montchanin Design has been indispensable to the Food Bank of Delaware. As the organization started to pursue its vision of relocating the Newark headquarters, Looney offered his architectural services on a pro-bono basis. He has donated more than 220 hours of expertise. He looked at potential properties and existing buildings, helping the organization decide what would mesh with the Food Bank of Delaware’s future needs. He drafted floor plans and renderings, arranged meetings and was involved in the process at every level.
Food Donor of the Year – Chiquita: The Food Bank of Delaware believes it’s important to provide fresh produce to hungry Delawareans, and thanks to the generosity of Chiquita, the organization received 1,236,946 pounds of bananas in the last year. Their donations alone make up 21 percent of the Food Bank’s non-governmental donations. These donations are appreciated by the Food Bank’s network of hunger-relief partners and also by hungry Delawareans. Chiquita also helped the Food Bank on transportation costs by delivering the produce directly to our Newark warehouse.
Advocate of the Year – Paula Angelucci: “Committed” is just one way to describe Angelucci, who has worked for nearly three decades to improve the health of Delaware children through school nutrition. She has been an advocate for increasing access to school breakfasts, and her district was among the first in Delaware to offer breakfasts through “grab and go” and hallway kiosks, now considered a best practice. Angelucci has also been an invaluable resource to the Food Bank of Delaware, providing insight into how meals in schools are provided. She has also supported other initiatives to ensure students have access to food, including school pantries. She was, in fact, an early partner for the Food Bank of Delaware’s school pantry program.
Partner of the Year – Giant Food: Giant Food has consistently supported the Food Bank of Delaware’s efforts to alleviate hunger through food donations and financial support. Over the past five years, Giant Food and their philanthropic arm, Our Family Foundation, has donated $343,444 to support Food Bank programs. In addition, they have donated nearly 1 million pounds of food. In 2012, Our Family Foundation provided a three-year grant of $300,000 to support our summer Grab and Go meal program, and more recently the foundation committed $225,000 for a pilot produce “prescription” program, so fresh produce can be distributed at local pediatric offices. The funds will also allow the Food Bank to continue its Mobile Summer Meal Program for children.