By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator
The annual Delaware State Fair is one of the state’s premier events, a celebration of our agricultural heritage, an entertainment venue, and for some, a dining destination.
For the Food Bank of Delaware, the fair is also an opportunity to partner with Food Lion to collect donations for state residents who are challenged by insufficient food resources.
On Monday, Food Bank, Food Lion, Delaware State Fair staff and Lake Forest School District worked side by side at the 4th annual Hunger Relief Day.
Here’s how it worked: each fair-goer who brought five Food Lion-brand canned or boxed goods to the table received a one-day admission to the fair.
It was a win-win scenario: fair-goers helped our mission by donating food and saved themselves an admission fee.
Staffing the table was a pretty simple job, one that was bustling though, as soon as the fair shuttle unloaded. Pick up the cans. Take them to the waiting totes, or the super-big cardboard boxes.
The table was open from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m., with late afternoon/ early evening being the busiest time. We even received a special visit from Senator Tom Carper! He dropped off three large bags!
Once the totes were full, they were loaded by forklift into a truck. They were trucked back to our Milford warehouse and weighed this morning.
In 2014, we collected 23,000 pounds of food; this year, the total was a bit less, weighing in at 19,516 pounds – the equivalent of 23,419 meals! This year’s lower amount can be attributed to the fact that both boxed and canned goods were encouraged. We all know that a box of cereal weighs significantly less than a can of vegetables. However, regardless of weight, all of these food items are of great importance to families in Delaware! Our goal is to provide a nutritionally-balanced meal to Delawareans in need – canned and boxed goods allows us to do that!
The Food Bank collaborates with 620 hunger-relief program partners, community-based organizations who help distribute food to those in need, so those donations will have a positive impact on the lives of fellow Delawareans.
In addition to the food drive, Asia, our Community Nutrition Educator, hosted a cooking demonstration during the afternoon hours. She showed fairgoers how to make healthy pizza bites using fresh zucchini. For the recipe, please visit our Facebook page! (While you are there, be sure to like us!)
Thanks to all for another great year at the Fair!
For more information on the Food Bank of Delaware, visit www.fbd.org.