School’s out for summer! For many kids, summer means trips to the beach and pool, but for other kids it’s a time of uncertainty. Uncertainty about where their next meal will come from.
When school ends for the year, so does access to free and reduced-price breakfast and lunch programs. To help fill the meal void and ease the anxiety that comes from the uncertainty of not knowing where a child’s next meal will come from, the Food Bank of Delaware is running a privately-funded Grab and Go program this summer!
The program is made possible thanks to generous funding from:
- Kraft Foods
- The Harry K Foundation
- Giant Food’s Our Family Foundation
- Sallie Mae
- Conagra Foods (through Feeding America)
- Citizens Bank
Grab and Go offers kids a flexible, convenient way to get healthy, free meals over the summer months!
While traditional meal sites, where kids eat on site, are still available throughout the state, the Food Bank of Delaware determined it was necessary to change our summer meal program in order to best serve the community. We are committing our organizational resources to focus only on filling in service gaps through the Grab and Go model.
We officially kicked off the program at a special barbecue held last Friday at Wilton Park in New Castle. Children and their families enjoyed cheeseburgers off the grill, games, nutrition demos and more!
The program will run at 16 sites though August 25. In addition to generous sponsors, the program is also made possible thanks to volunteers who help put all of the meals together.
Volunteers start the Grab and Go meal packing process bright and early in the morning. Kitchen volunteers assemble all of the sandwiches and side components. The items are transferred to the volunteer room where they are packed in wax bags and placed in coolers. Milk, juice and bottled water also accompany the meals. Drivers deliver the meals to participating sites throughout the state.
A Food Bank driver or site coordinator places the bagged meals in a reusable bag filled with ice packs and the children head home to consume the meals at their convenience. Kids receive both a breakfast and lunch. In the past, children participating at Food Bank of Delaware-sponsored meal sites were required to eat on site, but thanks to the privately-funded program, we are able to adapt to best meet the needs of kids.
While most of the Grab and Go sites are only open to residents of participating neighborhoods (including seven in Kent and Sussex Counties), the following sites are open to the public:
Dickey Park, 60 Madison Drive, Newark, 19711
Meal pick up: Monday-Friday; 11:00 a.m.
Centennial Park, Freedom Road, Newark, 19702
Meal pick up: Monday-Friday; 12:45 p.m.
Wilton Park, 625 Old Forge Road, New Castle, 19720
Meal pick up: Monday-Friday; 1:00 p.m.
To find traditional meal sites, families can dial 2-1-1, texting FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 or visit https://www.fns.usda.gov/summerfoodrocks.
Check out pictures from our Grab and Go kickoff event!