Three days before Thanksgiving 2017, Michelle Dobson was wondering where she could get extra items to help feed her family for holiday.
Food Lion was there to help Monday in two different ways.
First, the grocer provided free fresh items for her and more than 70 other Wilmington, Del., area hungry families at St. Helena’s Food Pantry. Second, just 100 feet away more than 10 Food Lion associates where using power tools, painting and assembling shelves giving the 35-year-old church pantry a needed facelift as part of Food Lion’s “Third Annual Great Pantry Makeover.”
“I just would like to say thank you to Food Lion associates,” Dobson said during an interview after receiving food. “Keep up the good work.”
Dobson just lost her job of 11 years working with a nearby plant. She has a family of five and said it sometimes becomes increasingly difficult to provide food for them even with government assistance.
The pantry is located in the basement of the church’s activity center, which houses offices for church staff and volunteers. The pantry serves 60 to 70 families monthly.
“What a nice surprise!” said church business manager Paul Penna. “Today’s makeover is going to modernize our pantry with better space, lighting, carpet and new shelving. We are just so grateful.”
This was Food Lion associate Dedrick Dyton’s first time volunteering in the community and he loved it.
“I just feel like it’s a good thing to be able to come out and help your community,” Dyton, 34, said. “Just know it’s going for a good cause is good.”
Dyton along with a small group of other local Food Lion associates assembled new shelves in the church’s boiler room, while Food Lion Director of Operations Alan Phillips used power tools to cut wood and led his team in painting the whole pantry, which previously only displayed cinder block color.
“It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do,” Phillips said as he painted the wall.
Once they finished with the actual prep work, the team moved the shelves into the room and stacked more than 1,000 pounds of Food Lion brand donated food that volunteers will restock at a later date.
Finally, Phillips presented pantry organizer Dorothy Medeiros with a special Food Lion Feeds plaque commemorating the event.
“Hunger in America is such and important issue and today’s action by Food Lion associates helps people in the Wilmington, Del., community deal with it,” Penna said.