Partner Spotlight: Greenbank Church of Christ
May 2, 2022
Partnerships with organizations up and down the state of Delaware are critical to ensure that food-insecure Delawareans have access to nutritious foods to help fuel their families during times of need.
Since the start of the pandemic, we have distributed more than 34 million pounds of food. This would not have been possible without our network of Hunger Relief Partners. Our partners include food closets, shelters, soup kitchens, schools, nonprofit organizations and others who are directly providing emergency food to those in need.
One of our largest partners providing emergency food is Greenbank Church of Christ in Wilmington. Tucked on the top of a hill near Prices Corner, the team at Greenbank has received 4,650,976 million pounds of food from the Food Bank in just under 10 years!
While the pandemic has impacted food distribution efforts at the church, a committed group of volunteers, led by Sue and Ed Maynard, are passionate about giving back.
Prior to the pandemic, Greenbank served upwards of 100 households each Thursday evening. Visitors were welcomed to come into the church to pick up boxes of food that were packed on the spot by a dozen-plus volunteers.
When the pandemic hit, the pantry closed, as much of its volunteers were senior citizens at risk of severe Covid outcomes.
The pantry reopened in Fall 2021 and operates in a drive-up fashion to keep both volunteers and clients safe. Although Covid is subsiding in our area, the team plans to continue operating in a drive-up model as it’s more efficient.
The pantry is a very well-oiled machine thanks to the leadership of Sue and Ed.
Preparation for the Thursday evening distribution starts days in advance.
Leading up to the distribution, a driver picks up the weekly order from the Food Bank of Delaware. He also picks up fresh donations from local grocers like Acme, BJs, Aldi and others. Everything is brought back to the church where a team from Autism Delaware’s POW&R Program packs nonperishable meal boxes.
Supplemental items like hygiene products, baked goods and fresh produce are bagged and placed in carts that are lined up through the church hall.
All pantry visitors register in advance using Eventbrite; Sue estimated that the church serves approximately 60 households every Thursday evening. She also takes the extra time out of her busy schedule to call each participant to remind them of their pick-up day.
Team FBD had an opportunity to help out in the pantry one stormy Thursday evening. Donned in rain gear, Sue provided volunteers with safety vests, clipboards and walkie-talkies to begin the check-in process. Another small team stayed inside the church to pack grocery carts based on household size. A third team was responsible for pushing carts out and loading trunks.
We had so much fun volunteering with the Greenbank gang. One Food Banker was responsible for loading boxes, while another was on juice duty!
The pre-packed boxes lined the floor and were organized by household size. The check-in team used a walkie-talkie to let the indoor volunteers know how many households were in the car and how many members were in each household. Based on that information, boxes were loaded into the cart and supplemental items were added.
Everything was so organized and the camaraderie among volunteers was wonderful.
The work of the Food Bank of Delaware is only possible thanks to strong partners; we are grateful for Greenbank Church and volunteers, like Sue and Ed Maynard, for their commitment to serve our community!