Hunger Free America CEO Joel Berg Stops at Food Bank of Delaware Drive-Thru Distribution as Part of Cross-Country Journey Visiting Hunger Relief Organizations
July 12, 2021
Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, a national nonpartisan nonprofit organization, visited Georgetown, Del. last week as part of a coast-to-coast journey this summer to shine a light on the continuing national hunger crisis, to meet with those working on the front lines of hunger, and to advocate for long-term, public policy solutions to food insecurity.
Berg was joined by U.S. Senator Chris Coons, U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Cathy Kanefsky, anti-hunger advocates and volunteers for the Food Bank of Delaware’s monthly drive-thru food distribution. In addition to volunteering his time, Berg highlighted the importance of federally-funded anti-hunger programs.
“Even with the pandemic easing, hunger still ravages virtually every rural and suburban town and urban neighborhood in the nation – including throughout Delaware,” said Berg. “My goal is to energize the work to enact the public policies – including increased funding for SNAP and WIC – needed to end U.S. hunger once and for all.”
The Food Bank of Delaware’s monthly distributions started at the beginning of the pandemic to help food-insecure families. While demand for food assistance in Delaware has dropped significantly since the early months of the public health crisis, more than 114,000 Delawareans may experience food insecurity in 2021. In just one week in June 2021, 21,707 Delaware households did not have enough to eat, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey.
“Food insecurity in Delaware and around the globe increased sharply amid COVID-19,” said U.S. Senator Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “COVID relief funding and organizations like Hunger Free America and the Food Bank of Delaware have helped provide food to our neighbors who need it most. As the country continues to recover from the pandemic, we need to make sustained investments in a food system that is fair and resilient.”
U.S. Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester said, “I am so proud of the work being done by the Food Bank of Delaware. The fight to end hunger is connected to so many things. It’s about acknowledging as a nation that being fed is a basic human right. This is about having the will and a vision to end hunger and poverty. It’s about strengthening our economy with access to healthcare and childcare. It’s also about partnership—and that’s what today was all about. I am proud to stand beside the Food Bank of Delaware and Hunger Free America, along with Senator Coons, as we work to get food and resources to those who need it the most.”
“Food insecurity is very real in our state,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Cathy Kanefsky. “The pandemic shed a light on just how many of our neighbors are one lost paycheck away from needing our assistance. Unfortunately, far too many struggled before the pandemic, so enhancements to federally-funded programs like SNAP were welcomed relief for so many in our community.”
In March 2021 (the most recent month for which data is available), the federally-funded SNAP program (formerly called food stamps), provided 113,352 Delaware residents with nearly $24.3 million worth of food, a significant increase as a result of a recent expansion to the program enacted by the Biden Administration and Congress.