Delaware residents needing the Food Bank of Delaware for assistance will receive quality fresh food, thanks to a federal coronavirus food assistance program called Farmers to Families.
The program started May 15 and runs through June, but a 6-month extension is anticipated, according to Chief Operations Officer Trevor Turner.
The boxes contain fresh produce, protein or dairy – food group products packaged separately – go out as soon as they arrive, truck to trunk, Turner said, noting that the Food Bank also has been receiving extra shipments of gallon jugs of fresh, whole milk each week.
Last week, 153,806 pounds of food in these boxes were distributed to 10,000 families, Turner noted. Most of it was produce, CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) -quality; protein boxes (usually fresh chicken or pork) are the most scarce. “The exceptional quality has been consistent. This is first-run quality,” he added.
In addition, the food does not have to be sorted at the Food Bank’s warehouse; it is delivered directly to mass distribution sites that are held in all three counties.
“Magical stuff happens. It’s very efficient. The excess is kept on the refrigerated truck and pulled off as needed, and then it’s loaded by volunteers into trunks. We keep it moving,” Turner said.
He anticipates a distribution of another 6 million pounds of food, if the program is extended.
“Everyone is certainly surprised at the quality. The produce boxes are valued at about $60 each. The Food Bank of Delaware is very fortunate to be a recipient in this program. If definitely benefits the people we serve,” Turner said.
Last year, the Food Bank distributed 8.6 million pounds of food, but since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic those numbers escalated. Since March 16, 4.8 million pounds of food have been distributed. This year the organization is on track to double distribution numbers.
Visit www.fbd.org to learn more about how the Food Bank helps food-insecure Delawareans, and also what you can do to help the Food Bank.