Food baskets

This year, the Food Bank of Delaware is taking its holiday food drive virtual due to the pandemic.

In a normal holiday season, the Food Bank of Delaware’s collection barrels are a common sight around the Newark area, as dozens of businesses, schools and other workplaces host food drives.

This year, however, the food bank is taking its holiday food drive virtual due to the pandemic.

“We are excited to launch our new virtual food drive,” interim CEO Sanjay Malik said in a prepared statement. “The virtual holiday food drive will allow us to be efficient with our resources. Traditional food drives are an expensive undertaking and take an immense amount of staff and transportation resources. The virtual food will allow us to address our most urgent food needs, while ensuring staff safety, preserving valuable staff and transportation resources to conduct more food distributions directly to the community.”

The organization is encouraging individuals, businesses and organizations to create a personalized virtual food drive page and invite friends, family or coworkers to donate. The new virtual food drive mirrors an online shopping experience where shoppers can select food items and place them in a shopping cart to check out and make a secure tax-deductible donation to the food bank.

“Thanks to the Food Bank of Delaware’s wholesale purchasing power and efficient distribution model, food donations through the virtual food drive are stretched even further,” spokeswoman Kim Turner said. “For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide three meals to Delawareans in need.”

To host a virtual food drive, please visit fbd.fenly.org.

Meanwhile, organizations that wish to hold physical food drives can still do so by delivering items to the food bank warehouse at 222 Lake Drive, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Donors may drop off nonperishable donations to collection boxes set up under the food bank barn on the far side of the front parking lot. Due to the pandemic, the organization is not distributing collection barrels or picking up donations.

Most-needed items include: applesauce, cranberry sauce, oatmeal, cold cereals, pudding mix, canned pumpkin, graham cracker pie crust, canned gravy, rice, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, stuffing, hearty soups, corn muffin mix, canned sweet potatoes and yams, canned peas and green beans, 100% fruit juice, hot chocolate, coffee and tea, evaporated milk, turkey pans and frozen turkeys.

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