By Ed Matarese, Food Sourcing Manager
The Food Bank of Delaware (FBD) distributed more than six million pounds of food in Delaware in 2015 to help feed the less fortunate in our communities. The food we distributed came to us from numerous sources – corporate donations, retail and wholesale grocery stores, food drives, family and individual donors, as well as the food we purchased. Much of the food that we distribute goes to families with children. Children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable when it comes to food insecurity.
To help in the fight against hunger in Delaware, the Food Bank of Delaware is excited to have partnered with the Red Clay Consolidated School District (RCCSD). Representatives from FBD met with officials of RCCSD this past December to formulate a plan whereby any food not consumed in the district’s school cafeterias would be collected twice per week and picked up by FBD for distribution to those we serve. The logistics were quickly worked out, with special attention paid to food safety. All food is transported by RCCSD drivers to Stanton Middle School in insulated coolers, with temperature logs in each cooler in order to ensure proper temperature. The food is again checked by the FBD driver and transported to the Food Bank’s Newark warehouse in a refrigerated van and immediately placed in one of the FBD’s walk-in refrigerators. The food is then distributed to the FBD partner organizations within one or two days.
Although this program just started full time in February, more than 1,500 pounds of food has already been distributed thus far. Jessica Terranova, RD, LDN, Manager of Nutrition Services and Jessica Farrand, MS, RD, LDN, Nutrition Specialist for RCCSD are very pleased with the results. In their respective positions, they are very aware how hunger can negatively affect a student’s performance in school. By donating the unused food to local families in need, especially families with school-aged children, this partnership will produce long-term benefits for the children.
An added benefit is the fact that the students in RCCSD are becoming aware of how important it is to share with those in need, a benefit that will hopefully teach them a life-lesson that they will carry forward with them as they grow into adulthood.
The FBD hopes to expand this program to other school districts in the State. For more information, please contact me!
Food Sourcing Manager
Food Bank of Delaware