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Food Bank of Delaware continues to feed food insecure Delawareans two years into the pandemic

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The Food Bank of Delaware marks two years of COVID relief efforts.

Prior to the pandemic, the Food Bank would distribute eight to 10 million pounds of food in any given year.

Food Bank communications director Kim Turner says that has skyrocketed in the past two years.

“Since March of 2020, we’ve distributed over 33 million pounds of food to our neighbors in need. We’ve hosted 67 of our mass drive-thru distributions. Those 67 distributions have received over 71,000 visits. And we’ve distributed 2.3 million pounds of food through them,” said Turner.

Last year alone, over 15 million pounds of food was distributed.

Turner notes that about 114,000 Delawareans still face food insecurity. That’s down from around 140,000 at the height of the pandemic, but still higher than the estimated 105,000 before COVID arrived.

And Turner points out that a recent Food Bank survey shows rising gas prices and inflation are new issues contributing to families struggling to put food on the table.

We did a survey of people who have been utilizing our food drive-thru distributions and 50% of the visitors say their financial status has gotten worse since the start of the pandemic, while 44% say it has remained the same," said Turner. "So a lot of people were struggling before the pandemic and they’re still struggling.” 

Turner adds people who took the survey say high food prices are also promoting them to turn to the Food Bank’s drive-thru food distributions.

Turner notes that Amazon and DoorDash are still delivering for the Food Bank, so people who can’t afford to fill up their tank to drive to a food distribution can sign up to have food delivered to their home.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.