Food Bank of Delaware food drive in Wilmington

Cars started to line up at about 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Wilmington Riverfront for a food distribution event that was scheduled to start at about 11:00.

The drive started early in order to keep the traffic moving. People pulled up, opened their trunks and received donated canned goods, produce, staples and other goods at the first of three Food Bank of Delaware pantry events inspired by the COVID-19 crisis.

"We're here," Xiomara Cruz-Colon of Wilmington said as she waited with her father in a vehicle.

Cruz-Colon's job in a restaurant is on hold because it closed earlier this week. She has a child at home. Her college classes are in a holding pattern as well.

The Food Bank of Delaware is also planning a distribution program Thursday in Georgetown and Friday in Dover.

"We exist for crisis situations and this is certainly a crisis," Food Bank Communications Director Kim Turner said. "We want to be able to get as much food out into the community right now in case there is a quarantine. We want to make sure that low income people have their pantries stocked."

Less than two weeks ago, City Councilwoman Yolanda McCoy hosted a Food Bank distribution event that helped about 100 people in her district. McCoy was on hand Wednesday as many more people came out for assistance.

Some had to be turned away.

"Right now it's a very vulnerable time, not for people like myself or my kid, but for those who are a little older or their immune systems are a little deficient," McCoy said. "We just want to make sure that we don't lose anyone that we don't have to."

According to Turner, the Food Bank has had to make some adjustments in its operations and its outreach efforts. Volunteers are limited to ten per room at its Glasgow-area warehouse. Also, the Food Bank receives contributions from major supermarket chains that also are facing a shortage of products.

"We're just taking it day by day in terms of retail donations, so that's why financial donations are so important right now," Turner said.

Cruz-Colon, meanwhile, was grateful for the opportunity.

"It's a good blessing, out of nowhere."