By Gwen Guerke, Communications Coordinator
You know it’s officially summer when the Food Bank of Delaware’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) gets off to a great start in all three counties.
The festive kick-offs, complete with fun, games, and of course, a meal, hop-scotched the state, starting in New Castle County at Dickey Park, then down in Sussex County at Burton Village in Rehoboth Beach, and ending up at High Point Mobile Home Community near Frederica for the final stop.
In all, the Food Bank has 84 SFSP sites statewide this summer: 30 in New Castle County; 22 in Kent, and 32 in Sussex County. Some will run through August, depending on the site’s needs.
Seven of these sites are considered “mobile” sites, meaning a Food Bank driver travels from site to site delivering and serving meals to kids. At the conclusion of the meal, the driver packs up and heads to the next site. These mobile sites are made possible thanks to generous funding from Giant Food’s Our Family Foundation and Sallie Mae.
Down at the Rehoboth Beach event, the arrival of the Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry truck, followed by our mobile greenhouse, a crew of Food Bank employees all decked out in their tie-dye shirts, plus a team of volunteers from St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Lewes and Giant Food made it obvious something special was happening. This event drew Burton Village children outside on a sunny summer afternoon.
We set up tables and chairs, then provided Buffalo chicken sliders, milk, and fruit for children to enjoy. They got to sample a healthy berry smoothie, and had an opportunity to engage in games and face painting.
Volunteers from St. Peter’s were part of Chris Miller-Marcin’s “Feed the Children Heart & Soul Ministry,” a project to fulfill her commitment toward her deaconate ministry.
In addition, Miller-Marcin has arranged for a bookmobile from Cape Henlopen School District to partner with the SFSP each Tuesday in Burton Village as an effort to maintain literacy and reading skills through the summer.
The kick-off was also an opportunity for eligible families here to participate in the Food Bank’s mobile pantry. Parents and/ or guardians received a 30-pound box of shelf-stable food, plus fresh eggs and fruit.
The scene was similarly choreographed the following day for children and families living in High Point Mobile Home Community. Tie-dye is a magnet.
Children enjoyed their lunches along with games and face painting, and we distributed boxes of food through the mobile pantry.
Since SFSP is administered by the state Department of Education and funded by USDA, officials from DOE and USDA were on hand to see how important the meals are to low-income families during the summer.
Free meals are available up and down the state all summer long. To find a site near you, dial 2-1-1, text FOOD to 877-877 or click here.