Partnership, teamwork bring hot Thanksgiving meal to those in need

November 16, 2018

That adage “It takes a village to raise a child.” rings true in many communities served by the Food Bank of Delaware and our 536 hunger relief partners. Thanks to a solid relationship between Beebe Healthcare and committed volunteers from Epworth United Methodist Church and Seaside Jewish Community, families in the state’s coastal region will have Thanksgiving dinner.

Eighteen households connected with the Food Prescription Program, a partnership between the Food Bank of Delaware and Beebe, will have a hot meal delivered by volunteer drivers on Thanksgiving Day.

The program serves patients, who when discharged from the hospital, identified themselves as dealing with food insecurity. They become eligible to pick up a 30-pound box of shelf stable food, frozen meat and fresh produce, when available.

Volunteers from Epworth and Seaside deliver those boxes to people who are unable to drive or have no access to transportation, more than 30 families this month. With Thanksgiving next week, those boxes also included a frozen turkey, fresh apples and bananas, and bagels.

Reber Whitner, an Epworth volunteer, heads up the non-Beebe portion of the teamwork, by delivering boxes and also organizing routes for other drivers.

But some people may not be able to prepare a dinner from scratch, Catherine Murphy, RN, points out. As Beebe’s Community Outreach Coordinator/ Population Department, Murphy is all too familiar with patients dealing with financial hardships in addition to medical issues.

Since Epworth is planning a free Thanksgiving Day dinner from noon to 3 p.m., Whitner is spearheading the effort to deliver meals to those he also serves through Beebe’s program.

The church’s volunteers are preparing 700 turkey dinners, 300 to be served at the church, the rest for carry-out, plus the 100 or so diligent volunteers. Visit for volunteer sign up at the dinner, or call 302-227-7743, ext. 117 for more information. Visit to learn more about Food Bank programs.

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