Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) employees joined together with the Food Bank of Delaware, legislators, and volunteers to distribute 30,000 pounds of non-perishable food, fresh produce, and dairy products to Delawareans in need.
The mission was made possible through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Trade Mitigation Program, which provides payments to American farmers for agricultural commodities impacted by trade tariffs imposed by China. In turn, the USDA is distributing those food products to food banks across the country, including the Food Bank of Delaware, through The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
Wednesday’s distribution is part of a DHSS effort to distribute more than 1,000, 53-pound boxes to eligible Delawareans statewide. The boxes are filled with jars of peanut butter, cans of chickpeas, bags of walnuts and dried cranberries, canned pork, instant mashed potatoes and other non-perishable items.
All of DHSS’ State Service Centers also have food boxes for distribution to Delaware residents who meet the income guidelines, and have a photo ID and proof of address.
“We are grateful for the ongoing partnership of the Food Bank of Delaware in helping us to meet the needs of vulnerable Delawareans,” said DHSS Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, a practicing family physician. “Today’s distribution is another way we are reducing the impact of food insecurity in our state, providing families with healthy food items and making sure that no one goes hungry at their next meal.”
In addition to the box of non-perishable foods, participants also received grapes, plums, potatoes, cheddar cheese and milk.
“Ensuring that Delawareans have access to nutritious food is a priority for us at the Food Bank of Delaware,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “We are proud to partner with DHSS and legislators to get these boxes out into our community. With the ongoing trade mitigation, we anticipate receiving even more food from USDA. As a result, we will continue to look for more partners like DHSS to help distribute this product.”
Secretary Walker thanked state Reps. Franklin Cooke and Melissa Minor-Brown, whose districts are near the Herman Holloway Campus, for volunteering at the distribution.
Legislators from across New Castle County also helped to promote the food box distribution, including state Sens. David McBride, Brian Townsend and Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman, and Reps. Ed Osienski, Kendra Johnson, Ray Seigfried, John Viola, Debra Heffernan, Cooke, Minor-Brown and others.
If you or a loved one in Delaware is struggling with food insecurity, you can be screened for and apply for food benefits at DHSS’ online portal, Delaware ASSIST: