6th District City Councilwoman hosts Mobile Pantry Giveaway | By Monique Harmon
March 10, 2020
Residents lined their cars in the parking lot of Hillside Center in the rain as they waited for volunteers of the Food Bank of Delaware to put groceries in their cars on Friday for the food pantry giveaway. The food is known as trade mitigation product which was provided by the United States Department of Agriculture. It was given to the Food Bank for free.
Trevor Turner, the chief operations officer of the Food Bank of Delaware, said that they try to go into the most resource-deprived communities as possible first. The mobile pantry giveaways are driven by community support and community partners.
“We partnered with the councilwoman. Thankfully, a lot of our friends showed up in support of this endeavor. We’ve identified community partners. A lot of elected officials are hosting these pantries in their districts. What we are doing is providing the resources that have been given to us and putting them into the community via these mobile pantry distributions,” said Turner.
Sixth District Councilwoman Yolanda McCoy, who sponsored the event, said she saw Senator Elizabeth Lockman, State Representative Stephanie T. Bolden, and State Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker do food pantry giveaways before and that State Representative Dorsey Walker partnered with her for the event. Residents and the councilwoman were pleased with the event.
“They [The Food Bank of Delaware] did a drive-through at Banning Park [before]. I think it’s actually a plus. Not only will you get a chance to move fairly quickly, but you have elderly people who are trying to take advantage of this and they may not have the strength to put these things in the back of their car and backseat. I think they’ve [The Food Bank of Delaware] been pulling it off wherever they could,” said McCoy.
“I think it’s a good idea,” said Luis Leon, a resident.
Councilwoman McCoy said she talked to Senator Lockman’s assistant and learned that they were trying to do one in March. They had two dates available. They chose one and McCoy chose the other.
“I wanted to make certain that we got a chance to bring this to our community. So many times it’s right outside or right in New Castle County. The city of Wilmington is so tightly locked. I was fortunate to find the Hillside Center. I wanted to make certain that people are fed,” said McCoy.
Residents had to fill out a form as they waited for the food to be put in their cars. It asked if they live in Delaware, their income, age, and household size.
“If people hadn’t known, April first, we were supposed to be seeing a new rule come down when it came to SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] benefits. I’ve contacted people I know when it comes to Delaware Health and Social Services to ask whether or not this was going to affect Delaware partially at all. Whether or not people were going to be taken off SNAP benefits or their amounts are going to be reduced. They have assured me that the state already looked into this and that our state will not be harmed by this rule. That made me feel good,” said McCoy.
Turner said residents who want to be updated on where the mobile pantries will be held can visit www.fbd.org to look at a list of their partners or call the Delaware helpline 211.
He also said that residents can contact Communications Director Kim Turner at Kturner@fbd.org to receive newsletters or blogs from the Food Bank of Delaware.
Turner invites the community to get involved with hosting a mobile pantry.
“If you have the capacity to host one of these large scale mobile pantries, if a developer or a community member has access to a very large parking lot space or any area frankly, that a lot of people can congregate and cars can get through efficiently, we would love it if you reach out to us and host one of these mobile pantries,” said Turner.