Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: January 9, 2013
NEW CASTLE (Jan. 9, 2013) - To meet the emergency food needs of thousands of Delawareans, the Department of Health and Social Services, along with the Blood Bank of Delmarva, are joining forces to replenish food closets at the 15 state service centers.
The food drive will be held Jan. 11-21, in conjunction with the Governor's Week of Service. Gov. Jack Markell and Lt. Gov. Matt Denn, along with their spouses, are urging Delawareans to join in service projects across the state.
During the DHSS food drive, Delawareans are urged to make non-perishable food donations at any state service center or blood bank location during regular business hours. The Main Administration Building at DHSS' Herman Holloway Campus on U.S. 13 near New Castle also will be a collection site.
Last year, the state service centers assisted more than 10,000 people with emergency food supplies.
"Delawareans always pitch in to help one another," Gov. Jack Markell said. "If we each take a few minutes out of the day to pick up something that would help stock our food closets, we'd be helping neighbors in need. It's one way to make a difference during the week of service."
The list of items most in need include: oatmeal and cereal, canned fruit, pancake mix and syrup, grits, tuna, canned pasta, peanut butter and jelly, crackers, soups, Spam and other canned meats, mac and cheese, stuffing, rice, beef stew, canned vegetables, mashed potatoes, canned potatoes, canned juice, condiments and shelf-stable milk.
Please keep in mind that some recipients of donations are people who are homeless, so pop-top canned goods are helpful.
"Hunger isn't a state problem or a federal problem, it's a community problem," DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf said. "With the generous support of Delawareans who are concerned about their neighbors, we can restock our food closets. We can provide vulnerable people with something nutritious to eat until a longer-term solution to their situation is found."
Food collected at each state service center will stay at that center. Food donated at the blood bank locations and the DHSS Main Administration Building will be divided among the state service centers with the lowest supplies.
"When a family or individual needs food, shelter, or assistance with basic needs to sustain themselves, they visit our state service centers," said Dr. Anne Farley, director of DHSS' Division of State Service Centers. "Each year, hundreds of thousands of visits are made to our centers where we have food closets ready to help in a time of need. We rely on donations of food items to put together meals for a family for three or more days. The generosity of the public to help a fellow Delawarean is essential for us to provide the support that we do."
The food drive is sponsored by Youth Service America, AmeriCorps Delaware, RSVP and Foster Grandparents.
State service centers are open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. (State offices will be closed Jan. 21 for MLK Day.) The locations:
New Castle County
The blood banks locations (hours vary) are:
For more information about the food drive or the Governor's Week of Service, call Carrie Hart, Volunteer Service Administrator, at (302) 857-5006, or go to www.volunteerdelaware.org.
For more information about the Blood Bank of Delmarva, go to www.delmarvablood.org or call (888) 8-BLOOD-8.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.