The Food Bank of Delaware will pause their mobile pantries in August, but resume in September.
As it does, the organization will be watching to see what happens as the federal pandemic unemployment benefits expire Sept. 6 and whether federal child tax credits will help alleviate hunger for some families.
“We didn’t really take into consideration federal unemployment ending when developing the schedule for the rest of the year, but we are interested to see if we see a spike in numbers next month because of it,” said spokeswoman Kim Turner.
The number of those attending the food giveaways has been dropping steadily during 2021. Turner had said last month that the Food Bank would decide what to do after July’s give-aways. Those numbers, too, remained down compared with the start of the year.
January: Kent County, 1,000 (food ran out and was upped for next events); New Castle County, 1,234; Sussex County, 1,356.
February: Snowed out.
March: Sussex, 1,109; Kent, 1,264; New Castle, 1,109.
April: Sussex, 827; Kent, 840; New Castle, 613.
May: Sussex, 700; Kent, 771; New Castle, 649.
June: Sussex, 730; Kent, 731; New Castle, 375.
July: Sussex, 610; Kent, 732; and New Castle, 566.
“We will resume for September, October, November and December,” Turner said. Those months also include major holidays that often are focused on food.
“It seems like a good way to get a large amount of food out to a lot of people in a fairly short amount of time,” she said.
She said the Food Bank organizers hope that the federal child tax payments — $300 per child sent monthly to families with less than $150,000 household income — will help reduce childhood hunger rates.
Some national media reported that it did when the first checks went out in July.
“We are hoping that this support will continue to help families,” Turner said.
As summer winds down, the Food Bank is accepting applications for its next L.O.G.I.C class. That stands for logistics, operations, general warehousing and inventory control. Classes are free.
The 11-week training program at the Newark facility begins Sept. 20. It’s a daytime training program that provides OSHA-10 and forklift certification to adults. The Food Bank also helps those in the class find jobs.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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