Cape Gazette
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Food Bank cuts ribbon at expanded Milford branch

Oct 03, 2013
Photo by: Steven Billups Shown at the ribbon cutting are (l-r) the Rev. Israel Figueroa, Iglesia de Dios Maranatha pastor; Tim Constantine, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware president; Sen. Colin Bonini; Larry Haas, development director; Chip Rossi, Bank of America Delaware market president; Sylvia Banks, DuPont Corporate Contributions and membership manager; Patricia Beebe, Food Bank of Delaware president and CEO; Chad Robinson, Milford Branch director; Sam Wilson, Sussex County Council; TJ Roe; Rita Landgraf, Delaware Health and Social Services Cabinet secretary; Joan Deaver, Sussex County Council; Ed Matarese, facilities director; and Kenny Quillen, Richard Y. Johnson & Son Construction manager.

The Food Bank of Delaware cut the ribbon on its newly expanded Milford branch recently. The $2.6 million expansion includes the new Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware Culinary Kitchen, DuPont Volunteer Room and Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Culinary Classroom. The expansion doubles the size of the existing 8,000-square-foot warehouse on Mattlind Way.

The project, designed by Delaware Architects, and managed by Richard Y. Johnson & Son, allows the Food Bank of Delaware to increase hunger-relief programming through the creation of a new volunteer room and train adults for the food service industry and prepare meals for the food bank’s Children’s Nutrition program through the new industrial-sized kitchen.

“We are so happy to welcome everyone here today, a day, that at times, we thought would never come,” said Patricia Beebe, Food Bank of Delaware president and CEO. “We have this beautiful new facility, and it’s already being used. On Sept. 9 we welcomed 14 members of the inaugural class here at the Milford Branch. And best of all, I’m happy to report that the project is paid for in its entirety. Thanks to the generosity of our community, we didn’t borrow a penny for this project.”

Rita Landgraf, Delaware’s secretary of Health and Social Services, Ellen Vollinger, legal director for the Food Research and Action Center, Sen. Colin Bonini and other community and government leaders joined Beebe at the podium.

“Today, we are grateful for the services and support that this Milford Branch of the Food Bank of Delaware will provide to people who are hungry,” said Landgraf. “Across the state, the food bank and its network of hunger-relief partners serve more than 240,000 Delawareans - more than a quarter of the people who live in our state.”

“Nutritious food is a basic health requirement - a community that is hungry cannot be healthy,” said Tim Constantine, Highmark Delaware’s president. “Similarly, individuals need to have access to jobs to attain general well-being. Highmark Delaware is pleased to support this project, which addresses hunger from two directions - providing food for immediate relief, and providing job training to help people build a better future.”

“The Food Bank of Delaware is a recognized leader in the fight to end hunger in the United States,” said Vollinger. “The Milford Branch expansion strengthens its capacity to make a real difference for Delaware through greater volunteer involvement, direct service delivery, and policy advocacy.” Guests enjoyed tours of the new facility and lunch prepared by students from The Culinary School following the ceremony.

For a list of available opportunities in Milford, go to fbd.volunteerhub.com. To learn more about The Culinary School, contact Brenda Palomo, culinary program manager, at 302-424-3301, ext. 107 or bpalomo@fbd.org.

 

Shown inside the commercial kitchen where the Culinary Arts classes are taught, as well as where thousands of meals a month are prepared for children through the After-School Feeding Program, the Summer Food Service Program and the Backpack Program, is executive chef and instructor Tim Hunter. The expanded facility now allows the food bank to accommodate larger volunteer groups during both day and evening hours.
The new large volunteer room where food is separated and packed by volunteers and staff.
Culinary Arts students serve up lunch after the ribbon cutting ceremony. Shown are (l-r) Courtney Bratten, Leighanne Franks, Gregory Jones and Lilly Frazier.
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