Food Bank pantry assists local family facing challenges

March 19, 2024

For Dave and his young family, the Food Bank of Delaware’s Healthy Pantry Center in Milford, is a lifesaver in what might be described as an unfortunate perfect storm.

The Center inside the new facility is arranged like a small grocery store, and neighbors, with the help of a volunteer, are able to select food and available household supplies that suit their needs and their tastes. Typically, more than 150 people a day visit the center.

Like Dave, neighbors are able to shop at the pantry twice a month, and a recent morning was his second visit. “Literally, I just heard about it, and this literally keeps us going,” he said. He and his wife are parents of a newborn daughter and a 6-year-old son. Until recently, the family lived comfortably on both of their incomes.

“I had a decent job. I was in management, and I stepped down to part-time when our baby was born. I wanted to be more involved with my family,” he said. He worked full-time as a kitchen manager and chef, but now he works just 20 hours a week.

Add to that, his wife had changed jobs, and she has not been employed there long enough to qualify for paid maternity leave.

“We are struggling just to pay the bills, and when she goes back to work, there’s day care,” Dave said. “We know that my wife’s entire paycheck goes to day care. You know how it is: it’s the same amount even though my son gets only before and after school care.”

Add to that, the baby is colicky and needs special formula.

Thankfully, he was able to get that necessity through the Healthy Pantry Center. On the day he visited, his wife was at the hospital emergency room with their infant daughter: their pediatrician advised they seek immediate attention for the baby’s cough.

“I know we will bounce back. We have to wait until summer. I’ve even had to ask my parents for help paying the bills. We were two relatively prosperous adults, and it’s hard to stay positive when pretty much everything sucks,” Dave said.

He surveyed his shopping cart, paused, and expressed gratitude for the Food Bank’s pantry. “I appreciate this. I appreciate the entire operation. I can cook, and this lasts us two weeks . . . with that bag of flour, I can make quite a few meals. I appreciate this,” he said.

Neighbors who live with food insecurity can enter the pantry waiting area through the first door on the right, adjacent to the main entrance. Please bring proof of Delaware residency; most people also find it helpful to bring bags for their groceries.

A volunteer will assist with electronic registration, then guide people as they select foods that match their family’s needs and tastes. Frequently, home and health-care items – such as laundry and personal care products – are also available.

The pantry address is 102 Delaware Veterans Blvd., Milford; a pantry is also available at our Newark site, 222 Lake Drive, Newark, DE 19702.  Visit Volunteers are needed to help the pantries run efficiently. To sign up, visit

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