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Tracey Quillen Carney announces First Chance Award recipients

Delaware News Desk
First lady Tracey Quillen Carney and members of the End Childhood Hunger Task Force announced Sept. 18 the recipients of this year's First Chance Awards, honoring the leaders and teams that stepped up to feed Delaware children when COVID-19 forced the closure of school buildings from mid-March through June.

First lady Tracey Quillen Carney and members of the End Childhood Hunger Task Force announced Sept. 18 the recipients of this year's First Chance Awards, honoring the leaders and teams that stepped up to feed Delaware children when COVID-19 forced the closure of school buildings from mid-March through June.

Watch a congratulatory video from Carney and ECHO Task Force members at bit.ly/3ck2OD1.

“School-based food services represent our front line of defense against childhood hunger and in support of the nutrition essential to healthy development and learning,” said Carney. “When school buildings had to close, it took a wide range of teams — comprised of dedicated, creative, determined individuals — to devise and implement plans to continue to feed our kids. We are so very grateful for their extraordinary work, which they are still doing, on behalf of the children of Delaware. We are proud to recognize these leaders and teams with First Chance awards for extraordinary service to Delaware’s children during the pandemic.”

First Chance Award recipients are Janice Vander Decker, Appoquinimink School District; Tony Windsor, Boys & Girls Club of Delaware; Colleen Carter, Brandywine School District, School Nutrition; Paul Rodgers, Caesar Rodney School District; Cheryle Lord-Gordon, Cape Henlopen School District; James Trower, Capital School District; Andrea Solge, Christina School District; Victoria Fuentes-Cox, city of Wilmington, Department of Youth and Families, Food Service Program; A. Paula Angelucci, Colonial School District; Havana Hollins, Community Education Building PS #5 LLC; Mondel Powell, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Delaware Division of Social Services; Maggie Smith, Carolyn Kincaid and Marcella Spady, Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, Delaware Division of Social Services, Pandemic-EBT Customer Service Team; Mike Rivera, Dan Sturgeon, Warren Ziegler, Butch Kelley and Laura Brown, Delaware Department of Transportation; Capt. Kevin Caneco, Army 1st Lt. James Willey and Sgt. 1st Class Brian Turner; the Rev. Christopher Curry, Ezion Fair Community Academy; Stephanie Dukes, Family Outreach Multipurpose Community Center Inc.; Sanjay Malik, Food Bank of Delaware; Harry Keswani, Harry K Foundation; Clifton Toomey, Indian River School District; Jennifer Montano, Lake Forest School District; Julie Gibbons, Laurel School District; Sharon Forrest, Milford School District; Carol Arrington, Polytech School District; Jessica Terranova, Red Clay Consolidated School District; William Mengel, Seaford School District; Roger Holt, Smyrna School District; Amna Latif, Tarbiyah School; Janice Palmer, The Little People Child Development Center; Joann Joseph, Woodbridge School District; and Courtney Hoy, YMCA of Delaware. 

The award recipients, many of whom are Delaware’s Summer Food Service Program sponsors, were able to coordinate sites early this spring so that families could pick up meals for children to eat at home. Additional organizations and community partners worked with the SFSP sponsors to ensure students had nutritious meals outside of school.

Members of the statewide ECHO Task Force selected the award recipients. With a central team convened by the First Lady, the Task Force includes representatives from the Food Bank of Delaware, the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Social Services. The task force’s specific goals include increasing participation and building partnerships in support of the Summer Food Service Program and alternative model school breakfasts. The task force also seeks to promote awareness of all programs, public and private, available to Delawareans experiencing food insecurity.

For more on the First Chance Awards, visit governor.delaware.gov/first-chance-delaware.