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Dover Post
  • DART and Food Bank of Delaware to host annual Stuff the Bus

  • The holidays are a time for family, food and good cheer, but they are also traditionally a time of giving back. For the 16th year in a row DART First State and the Food Bank of Delaware are partnering to give Delawareans a chance to help others with their annual Stuff the Bus food drive.
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  • The holidays are a time for family, food and good cheer, but they are also traditionally a time of giving back. For the 16th year in a row DART First State and the Food Bank of Delaware are partnering to give Delawareans a chance to help others with their annual Stuff the Bus food drive.
    During the four-day event two DART buses will travel up and down the state, stopping off at designated locations so that individuals, businesses, organizations and state agencies can pack the bus with donations of non-perishable food. DART started the drive more than a decade ago in order to give back to the community, said Pattie Boyd, marketing specialist at DART First State.
    “We just wanted to be a part of the community,” Boyd said. “We’re about more than just transporting people and thought this would be a great way to be involved.”
    On Tuesday, Nov. 12 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., a DART bus will be parked at the ACME in the North Dover Shopping Center to collect donations. After the four-day drive, which includes stops in Milford and Wilmington, is complete the buses will be unloaded at the Food Bank of Delaware’s warehouse in Newark. From there food will be sorted and distributed to food closets, shelters and soup kitchens across the state.
     All non-perishable food items will be accepted, but the Food Bank is currently in need of cereal and canned fruit, said Kim Turner, community director for the Food Bank of Delaware. The food bank is also looking for Thanksgiving staples such as mashed potatoes, canned vegetables, stuffing and gravy.
    “We’re looking for anything you would see on a Thanksgiving table, that’s non-perishable,” Turner said.
     The drive isn’t just limited to providing for families during the holiday season though. The aim is to help families up and down Delaware throughout the year, Boyd said.
    “When we do this people think about having a Thanksgiving meal,” Boyd said. ”This is about more than that. People need food every day.”
    This is a particularly important drive for the food bank because as of Nov. 1 huge cuts were made in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, cutting back food assistance for thousands in Delaware and millions across the nation.
    “Families who are already struggling will be trying to stretch their dollars,” Turner said. “There will be a greater demand at hunger relief organizations, who are trying to stock their shelves in time for the cold winter months.”
    Winter is a particularly hard time for many families because they often have to choose between heating their homes and buying groceries, which in turn leads them to seek food assistance, meaning that organizations that provide hunger relief need to stock up prior to winter, Turner said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Stuff the Bus gives everyone in the community an opportunity to give back, including those who have turned to the Food Bank, Boyd said.
    “I work pretty much the whole day and I have people coming up, bringing a bag and telling me how when they were in need they turned to the Food Bank and once they were back on their feet they wanted to give back,” Boyd said. “I think that’s what makes this a nice event; people feel like they’re helping give back.”

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