Giving back: $1.9 million in Highmark grants; Restaurant fund aids workers; Incyte’s Food Bank donation; Adesis’ donates tons of hand sanitizer


Adesis, Inc., based in New Castle, has formulated and donated nearly 4,000 pounds of hand sanitizer to Donate Delaware.

The protective disinfectants are then distributed to, among others, the Delaware Health Care Facilities Association for nursing homes across the state; Delaware Dream Center as part of its services to challenged communities, schools and apartment complexes, and the Latin American Community Center. 

“Our chemistry teams and staff are proud to play a part in helping keep Delawareans safe,” said Adesis President Andrew Cottone. “Working with Donate Delaware and its co-founder Dave Tiberi, we’re grateful for their help in distributing these sanitizers to the many organizations that need them.”

Adesis is a leading contract research company  for the pharmaceutical, biotech and specialty chemical industries.

Incyte donates $150,000 to Food Bank

The Food Bank of Delaware announced   that  incyte has donated $150,000 to the organization’s COVID-19 relief efforts. This donation will enable the Food Bank of Delaware to provide 450,000 meals to Delawareans struggling with food insecurity.

Inctye is a pharma company based near Wilmington.

Since the start of the pandemic, the organization has distributed more than 13 million pounds of food through community distributions and its network of community food pantry partners. It is estimated that there are more than 164,000 food-insecure Delawareans as a result of the pandemic’s impact.

The Food Bank of Delaware has also been hosting monthly large drive-thru mobile pantries for families in need of food. Since March, the Food Bank has distributed more than 2.5 million pounds of food to more than 31,000 households just through these monthly distributions.

Highmark awards nearly $2 million 

 Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware announced  the recipients of its social determinants of health grant cycle through its donor-advised fund, BluePrints for the Community.

The grant cycle opened in September, originally set to total $1 million, in response to the continuously growing needs that existed prior to, but have been made worse by, the pandemic. Highmark Delaware decided to increase funding due to the volume and quality of the projects and programs it received. The total is more than  $1.9 million.

“We are not at all surprised by the excellent grant proposals we have seen through this grant cycle and we are proud to support 17 grant recipients in the tremendous work they are doing,” said Nick Moriello, president of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware. “It was a difficult decision process and we applaud all the organizations that applied for their dedication to our community. They have exemplified that we are all in this together, and Highmark and BluePrints are privileged to take part.”

Key areas of social determinants of health that were considered included economic and financial stability, access to education, transportation, health and health care, including dental/oral health, and neighborhood and environment factors.

Recipients and their projects/programs include:

  • Catholic Charities – Diocese of Wilmington will receive funding to support its Behavioral Health Services Program for low income families.
  • Children and Families First DE requested funding to establish an EnVision Center site to serve residents of an identified Section 8 housing neighborhood.
  • Culture Restoration Project, Inc. will use funding to transform a vacant lot into an arts and culture space for the community.
  • Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition will receive a grant to support breast health education, screening, navigation, and virtual programs in New Castle, Kent, and Sussex Counties.
  • Delaware Center for Horticulture requested funding for their Neighborhood Tree Steward Program, which addresses health through green spaces and natural modifications to neighborhood environment.
  • Family Promise of Northern New Castle County, Inc. will use grant funding to expand services for their Hospitality Center and Network which provides assistance to quickly move families into permanent housing.
  • First State Community Action Agency requested support for their Home is Health Program to provide in-home assessment of risk factors, installation of Healthy Homes kits, and community education.
  • Great Oaks Charter School – Wilmington will use their grant to support students and their families in New Castle County with mental and physical health services and community intervention.
  • Jewish Family Services of Delaware’s Employment Support Network will receive funding, which will use volunteers from different professions to support unemployed individuals.
  • NCALL Research, Inc. requested funding to expand their Opioid Outreach and Restoring Central Dover Programs in order to continue current services to the residents of Central Dover and begin serving Dover Housing Authority neighborhoods.
  • Neighborhood House, Inc. will receive support for a Wellness Coach to serve students engaged with their Learning Hubs program in the Southbridge area.
  • Sojourners’ Place was approved to receive funds in support their comprehensive Transitional Housing Program, which will provide education services, job skills and employment training to help homeless adults become self-sufficient.
  • Survivors of Abuse in Recovery will get funding to support their Children and Teen Project to provide mental health services to teen-aged survivors of sexual abuse and assault statewide.
  • Sussex County Habitat for Humanity requested a grant for their Home Stabilization Affordable Housing Initiative, which addressing weatherization, improves accessibility, and provides financial coaching and energy efficient solutions to lower costs for 345 low-income families.
  • Tidal Health’s Wagner Wellness Program was approved for funding to purchase a mobile health van that will provide health screenings, multidisciplinary health services, education and outreach in low-income rural communities.
  • United Way of Delaware, Inc. requested funding to expand the $tand By Me Program in response to COVID-19 to provide financial coaching statewide.
  • Westside Family Healthcare was approved for funding for it Feeding Families Program to address food insecurity, expand access to fresh foods, provide routine nutrition counseling, and teach patients how to better manage their chronic disease.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware serves approximately 441,000 members through the company’s health care benefits business. 

Help for 100 restaurant workers

 The Delaware Restaurant Association‘s Educational Foundation (DRAEF) recently funded a second round of direct cash grants for more than  100 restaurant workers struggling from income loss and unemployment.

The individual $365 grants are being paid out to recipients this week, at a time when many are facing a loss of hours and income due to the recent bar/restaurant curfews and stay-at-home advisory issued by  Gov. John Carney. 

The DRAEF founded the restaurant industry Emergency Action Trust when restaurants were first shut down during the stay-at-home order in March. By May (less than eight weeks after its inception) the  relief fund raised over $290,000  and provided financial support to more than  575 industry workers.

 The fund was built through donations from individual industry supporters and grants from local private foundations and corporate partners. The Beer & Benevolence Foundation, created by Dogfish Head founders Sam & Mariah Calagione, provided initial funding, along with sales from their hand sanitizer from  Dogfish Head Distilling Co.  

The restaurant relief fund was revived in early December on “Giving Tuesday” – a day when many choose to support nonprofits and charities supporting local communities.

A public campaign was launched  to accommodate the renewed interest in supporting Delaware’s restaurant workers.

Hundreds of individual donations, as well as large contributions from Paula Janssen of Janssen’s Market and Kevin DiSabatino of DiSabatino Construction Company were made during the first week of December. 

In addition,  a large company donation from Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Delaware, representing several nationwide wine & spirits brands, brought the total donations to over $38,000.  Individual cash grants were then issued by the DE E.A.T.s relief fund to 104 restaurant workers.  

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