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Food Bank drive-through runs out of food minutes after scheduled start time

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Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media
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A Food Bank of Delaware drive-through distribution event in 2020

The Food Bank of Delaware is increasing capacity for two drive-through distribution events later this week after an event Monday ran out of food minutes after the scheduled start time. 

Hundreds of Delawareans lined up early to receive free food through the Food Bank of Delaware’s drive-through event Monday at the Dover International Speedway. 

The Food Bank planned to give food to 1,000 families— and reached that cap just minutes after the scheduled start time at 11 a.m. The organization announced on social media at 11:10 a.m. that the event was closed — and advised those seeking food to call 2-1-1 to find other food pantries.

Food Bank of Delaware Communications Director Kim Turner says people tend to start lining up at 6 a.m., and the organization distributes food early to keep cars from blocking traffic. 

“I’ve never seen so many people arrive early for our distributions before,” Turner said. “So I think it’s definitely a sign that our neighbors are still struggling to make ends meet.”

After Monday’s demand, the Food Bank is increasing its capacity for events Wednesday in Wilmington and Friday in Georgetown from 1,000 to 1,500 families. 

The organization started the drive-through events to supplement its normal distribution avenues during the pandemic. 

Turner emphasizes that the drive-through events are just one of many food resources in Delaware. 

“We have a food pantry on site at our Newark Facility that’s open every weekday,” she said. “We have a food pantry at our Milford facility that’s open every weekday. We have a network of hundreds of food pantries up and down the state that people can dial 2-1-1 to access them.”

 

Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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