Perdue Farms, as part of its “Delivering Hope to Our Neighbors” hunger-relief initiative, has invested in a new “repack room” at the Food Bank of Delaware site south of Newark to help provide additional protein and other nutritious food to Delawareans who face food insecurity and reduce food waste.
A $100,000 grant will allow 1,216-square-foot food-processing space w to receive bulk containers of protein that can then be converted to consumer-friendly, retail-size portions.
Salisbury-based Perdue Farms, which has processing operations in Delaware, is partnering with the Food Bank of Delaware in an animal protein pilot project to enable the organization to develop the methodology and processes to effectively repack protein and distribute it out to food insecure Delawareans.
Protein is the most sought-after food group for food banks to acquire for children, seniors and families who face hunger due to prohibitive costs and short product shelf life, but it is a vital part of a balanced diet. This partnership will increase access to more protein and reduce food waste.
“We are thankful for Perdue’s support of our repack room and our overall vision of a community free of hunger,” said Food Bank of Delaware Chief Development Officer Larry Haas. “We moved into our new facility at 222 Lake Drive focused on making sure we can get more fresh foods out to our community’s most vulnerable citizens. Perdue’s support of the repack room makes it possible for us to repack nutritious, fresh foods and get it into the hands of those who need it most.”
According to Food Bank of Delaware data, prior to the pandemic, there were more than 121,000 food-insecure Delawareans. Now, the organization and its network of partners are serving more than 164,000 Delawareans – many of whom are seeking assistance for the first time.
The Perdue Foundation gift aligns with the company’s “Delivering Hope To Our Neighbors” hunger-relief initiative focused on providing access to nutritious protein for people struggling with hunger and making meaningful progress toward ending hunger. In January, the Perdue Foundation announced a $1 million donation to support 10 of its Feeding America food bank partners in celebration of the company’s 100th anniversary.
Over the course of the partnership with the Food Bank of Delaware, Perdue has delivered more than 12 million pounds of chicken, Perdue associate volunteer support, and additional funds to enable the food bank and its agency network to feed its hungry neighbors. The Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Perdue Farms, was established in 1957 by company founder Arthur W. Perdue and is funded through the estates of Arthur W. Perdue and Frank Perdue.
Kind to Kids distributing gifts to foster care community
Kind to Kids is holding two holiday gift-giving celebrations – in Milford (Kent and Sussex Counties) and New Castle County – to ensure children will know they are cared for and so something from Santa will be under their tree.
The 10th annual Holiday Party for Foster Children looks different this year, due to health and safety concerns surrounding the pandemic.
The two-day event operates as a drive-through so that foster families can stay in their vehicles, as holiday bags filled with age-appropriate gifts are distributed for each child. Both foster and biological children living in the same household will receive gifts at the Holiday Party. It is important to Kind to Kids that each child in the family, whether or not they are in the foster system, is treated equally at this special time of year.
“No child should ever feel forgotten during the holiday season,” said Kind to Kids founder and President Caroline Jones. “The idea of making wishes come true for children in foster care was the genesis of our organization when we launched ten years ago,” says Jones.
“Many of our traditional toy collection activities won’t be possible this year (due to Covid). But we are excited about the gifts we have on our Amazon wish list — toys, activities and books that we know are quite popular with children. And so far, the results have been amazing – people are really embracing the digital method of giving this year,” she said. “It’s heartwarming.”
For ten years, Kind to Kids has put in a months-long effort to collect toys, books and gadgets for children and teens in foster care. “These are difficult times for any family, and the issues are magnified for foster families. Finances are tight and we don’t want any child to be left out. It’s a terrible feeling for a child to be left out during the holidays. With the support of the community, we make sure that every child in foster care gets a special gift given with love and kindness.”
“Thanks to everyone who donated to the gift drive,” First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney said. “Special thanks to Kind to Kids, not just for organizing this event during a challenging time, but for years of exceptional leadership in support of our youth in foster care.”
First Lady Tracey Carney, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand at each event to smile and wave to the children, as gifts are distributed. In preparation, Kind to Kids launched a broad effort with over 20 community partners to capture donations in a variety of ways:
- Barnes and Noble at Christiana Mall is conducting a Kind to Kids book drive throughout the month of December
- State Rep. Mike Smith held all-day toy drive in Pike Creek on Sunday, Dec 6th, collecting more than 1,200 toys
- Bay to Beach Builders is a major sponsor for the holidays and Kind to Kids education programs
- Target stores are directing a portion of community dollars to Kind to Kids
- Rite Aid is donating a portion of their Kids Cents donations to Kind to Kids
- Businesses, churches and schools are spearheading their own toy drives
- Individuals can pay for age-appropriate toy wish-lists on Kind to Kids Amazon Wish List, and gifts will be delivered directly to Kind to Kids office at the Community Services Building in Wilmington
This year, presents will come pre-assembled and packaged, so that each family can drive through and collect a large sack of gifts tailored just for their children.
Habitat for Humanity providing. new refrigerators to low income residents
Habitat for Humanity of New Castle County (HFHNCC) has initiated a statewide effort to provide new, energy-efficient refrigerators to low-income Delmarva customers in Delaware. Working in collaboration with the Habitat affiliates in Sussex County and Central Delaware, HFHNCC is piloting a statewide refrigerator replacement program conducted through all three Habitat’s ReStores. The Restore Refrigerator Replacement Program is made possible through a $500,000 Energize Delaware Empowerment Grant.
The Habitats of Delaware expect to collectively provide a total of 450 low-income Delmarva customers with an Energy Star certified refrigerator during the course of the program. About 1 in 7 Delaware families are cost-burdened when it comes to paying for utilities. In providing applicants with an energy-efficient refrigerator, this collaboration will help reduce energy bills and improve the quality of life.
By saving an estimated 432,875 kilowatt hours over an 18-month period, the program is expected to ease the burden of low-income households by producing an annual savings of $127 for qualified applicants.
Applicants who qualify can expect their local affiliate to deliver their new refrigerator and remove their old refrigerator for recycling.