NEW CASTLE, Del. – The Delaware National Guard helped the Food Bank of Delaware distribute food to the needy at drive-thru mobile pantries across the First State.
About 25 members of the Delaware National Guard joined hundreds of food bank volunteers April 20, 22 and 24, handing out much-needed pantry items to help address the increased demand for food assistance amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Thousands of Delawareans in vehicles – and some by foot, bicycle, and motorized scooter – maneuvered through the lanes during last week’s three drive-thru events.
“These are our citizens. These are our families, our friends, our neighbors,” said Maj. Gen. Michael Berry, adjutant general of the Delaware National Guard. “Our Citizen-Soldiers and -Airmen are coming here from within Delaware and surrounding states to do these types of missions, and certainly, they’re going to have a great perspective in helping the folks that are here to get some assistance because they know them.”
The food bank-sponsored mobile pantries, which featured apples, cereal, cheese, chicken, milk, oranges and canned goods, were at Christiana Mall in Newark, Dover International Speedway in Dover and Sussex Central High School in Georgetown.
Over three days, members of the Guard and volunteers distributed 279,299 pounds of food to 5,935 households, according to the Newark-based food bank.
The Delaware National Guard has maintained a robust partnership with the Food Bank of Delaware for about 15 years.
The Guard organization’s “War on Hunger,” a year-round campaign across the state, has collected hundreds of thousands of pounds of food, and its members have accrued countless volunteer hours at food bank locations and public events.