Delaware County Council recently announced the County Food Drive surpassed its goal this year during the annual Thanksgiving Food Drive by collecting 12,053 pounds of food for those in need. The goal for this year’s food drive was to collect and distribute 10,000 pounds of food.
Delaware County Council and the County Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health (OBH), joined forces with Magellan Behavioral Health of PA to collect non-perishable food items to distribute to families in need this Thanksgiving season.
“The biggest message we wanted to get out there is that sometimes during the holidays, people are more generous, but we have hungry families all year round,” said food drive organizer and deputy mental health program administrator for Office of Behavioral Health Bill Chambers.
The food was delivered Friday, November 18, to the food bank at Mount Zion CME Church Food Center in Darby Township.
This year’s drive was held Oct. 4 through November 18 with participation by employees and residents doing business at the Courthouse and Government Center.
The Mount Zion food bank is one of 12 food banks operated by the Delco Interfaith Food Assistance Network of Family and Community Service of Delaware County. Providers involved with food assistance programs report a dire need for donations during the current economic downturn.
“An increased cost of living, coupled with job loss and other difficulties, means families are struggling to make ends meet,” said Mt. Zion food bank coordinator Marilyn Maxwell. “The approaching holiday season will stress household budgets even more. Struggling families cannot afford the holiday traditions that so many take for granted, like a holiday meal.”
Delaware County Council and the Office Behavioral Health have partnered with Magellan for nine years to coordinate the food drive.
In 2010, the Thanksgiving food drive resulted in distribution of 10,200 pounds of food. The food was dispersed to needy families for holiday meals.
Donation boxes were placed at various locations throughout Delaware County including the Government Center lobby, outside the Sheriff’s office and the Courthouse in Media, Fair Acres main lobby and the Detention Center in Middletown, the County Office of Services for the Aging in Eddystone, the Children and Youth Services office in Chester, and the County Office of Human Services in Upper Darby.
Sienna Miller, a resident of Media, was just one of the many local residents in Delaware County who donated items for the food drive.
She is hoping that the residents will continue to donate different items not just on special holidays, but all year long.
“It is always important for people in the community to come together and donate things for people who are in need,” she said. “While it’s always a blessing to see people donate for the holidays, the reality is some families need things all year long. I’m hoping the people who were generous to donate won’t just stop at Thanksgiving. There are a lot of people who are less fortunate out here, and if we all help and continue to donate I do think it will make a significant difference.”