Retiree finds rewards in giving back by volunteering at Food Bank
May 1, 2020
Bob Reilly is a familiar face at the Food Bank of Delaware’s Milford branch. He volunteers every Tuesday and Thursday, mostly assisting in the warehouse. But like most of our volunteers, this Bridgeville resident is willing to lend a hand helping complete whatever task is needed. On Thursday, he assisted in packing weekend meal boxes that will be distributed by the state to 300 homeless residents temporarily sheltered in motels around Kent and Sussex counties.
Volunteers are the true heart and soul of the Food Bank. Last year, through 15,947 visits to both our Newark and Milford sites, volunteers donated 41,359 hours spent mostly sorting and repacking donations, packing meal bags for the Backpack Program for kids and creating meal boxes.
Reilly, a Bridgeville resident, is a New Jersey native and a Port Authority supervisor retiree. He and his wife chose Bridgeville as their retirement home after the birth of their first grandchild. Although they originally moved from New Jersey to South Carolina, they realized the drive to connect to their growing family was simply too challenging. After they relocated to Delaware in November, Reilly heard a radio ad recruiting Food Bank volunteers. He went online, registered, and by January he became a valuable part of the team. “I volunteered for a food bank in South Carolina too, called HOPE. I’m fortunate that was able to retire and give back to the community,” he said.
He also is an active volunteer with Code Purple, a non-profit agency which provides overnight shelter for homeless residents.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Reilly said he wanted to continue his volunteer commitments. “People still have to eat,” he said. “They follow all the safety precautions here.” He pointed to other volunteers wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.
“Everybody here is very nice, and they made me feel welcome,” he added.
To register for a volunteer shift, visit www.fbd.volunteerhub.com. There are no requirements to commit to ongoing or regular time slots; children over age 7 are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult.