Story Contributed by Benny Smith, Food Lion
Richard Geer, who is the director of God Wants All Children Serving (GWACS) Pantry at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Wilmington, sees it every last Wednesday monthly.
Well, that all changed today. Food Lion associates donated a new 49 cubic-foot freezer and did a full transformation of the small area that houses the volunteer-run pantry.
“This is something that we could not have done by ourselves,” Geer said. “It’s great that in addition to giving us money to purchase the freezer, Food Lion also supplied us with the manpower today to make these renovations.”
GWACS is located in an area of high poverty of Wilmington, Del. In the past year, the pantry received 4,626 client visits and distributed 106,675 pounds of food. More than 10 Delaware Food Lion associates worked for hours to renovate the current pantry space, which Geer said was not efficient or an inviting space from which to serve a community of such high need.
“The volunteers and clients deserve a clean, welcoming space that is easier to access,” he said.
Food Lion associates removed old wooden shelves that were sagging along with product from the space. They also built new steel shelves and restocked with both fresh and non-perishable Food Lion brand product.
Food Bank of Delaware Development Director Larry Haas said Friday’s partnership with Food Lion was perfect and needed.
“Today is a great example of how full-level engagement in the community works with a corporate sponsor, food bank and agency,” Haas said during an interview inside the church. “Food Lion understands that it’s not just the food bank that needs help in fighting hunger. These agencies are on the front lines and most of the time on a shoe string budget. So anything that you can do helps them help our community.”
During the month of September, Hunger Action Month, the company will remodel and stock more than 30 pantries across its markets. The GWACS makeover is part of a month-long service event supporting a national movement to bring awareness and action to end hunger in our communities.