Representatives from the Food Bank of Delaware officially passed off the key to a new refrigerated van to the St. Patrick’s Center at a Sept. 14 presentation.

Because of a $75,000 donation from the Walmart Foundation to Feeding America, the Food Bank of Delaware purchased a new refrigerated van for St. Patrick’s with the purpose of picking up perishable food from local retailers. The grant will also enable the Food Bank of Delaware to purchase two chest freezers for St. Patrick’s, insulated food bags, refrigerators and a manual pallet jack for three other partners within its network.

“One in eight people struggle with hunger in Delaware, including 34,000 children,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe “It is important for St. Patrick’s Center to provide our community with healthy food, and we are thankful to the Walmart Foundation for helping arm us with the equipment we need to ensure that people who struggle with hunger have access to nutrient-rich options.”

In an effort to increase the capacity of its partner organizations to receive fresh foods, the Food Bank selected the St. Patrick’s Center in Wilmington to receive the donated van. In 2017, the center received 305,943 pounds of food through its partnership with the Food Bank.

“St. Patrick’s Center is located within a supermarket desert, which is an area where there’s limited access to affordable nutritious food,” said Joel Harris, executive director of St. Patrick’s Center. “The donation of the new van will allow St. Patrick’s Center to purchase more food and have more fresh food available for our neighbors. Since partnering with Delaware Health and Social Services, we expect an increase in consumers needing emergency food. In 2017, St. Patrick’s Center served 20,038 adults and 9,620 children totaling 15,630 households for emergency food.”