If all goes according as planned, the Cape Henlopen Food Basket should have some donations coming its way soon.
The food pantry, a source for temporary dietary assistance sponsored by the Lewes-Rehoboth Association of Churches, looks to benefit from two upcoming events in the Cape Region just in time for needs to inch upward in the colder seasons.
The first is a Labor Day tennis tournament at the Deauville Beach tennis courts in Rehoboth.
CHFB President John DeVoll said organizers have promised to collect donations at the 32-player tournament near North Shores, with practices starting at 8 a.m., Monday, Sept. 2.
The second event is the upcoming Feeding Our Friends Crafts and Collectibles show to be held, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14, rain or shine.
The crafts show will be held in an area of the parking lot donated by Super Giant, co-organizer Judy Heatly said.
While the crafts show is still seeking artisans and food vendors to fill spaces for the show, Heatly promises fees will go directly to the CHFB, even asking that vendors make their checks out to that organization.
In addition, those who attend will be encouraged to donate non-perishables on-site.
Cape Henlopen Food Basket background
The food basket was founded in 2002 to serve those residing within the Cape Henlopen School District with temporary food assistance.
Working in conjunction with the Community Resource Center, the CHFB helps individuals and families recover from temporary setbacks, such as a lost job.
DeVoll has been president of the food basket since February and a member since 2002, when the pantry opened its doors on Savannah Road. He said the CHFB is staffed entirely by volunteers.
"The dynamics of these volunteers is very interesting and the energy level is very high," DeVoll said. "We have no salaries. Utilities are the only cost. The rest of the money goes to food."
Although contributions from the community, grocery stores, USDA foods and leftovers from the farmers market and local bakeries do provide a large portion of the food at CHFB, providing protein for clients means much of the budget goes to buying and refrigerating meats.
The new facility in Rehoboth now provides a larger area to store food and pack bags, including three freezers for meats.
Now located in Rehoboth below the LRAC Community Resource Center on Oyster House Road, the food basket is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Although the CHFB never sends anyone away without giving them something, DeVoll said the resources of his organization and status as a nonprofit mean they are restricted to serving a population limited to the Cape Henlopen School District.
Those who reside outside this area are directed to the appropriate resource center in their community.
At the offices of the CHFB, volunteers keep a log of those who visit and the number of times they seek assistance because after a certain number of visits, they must direct clients to the appropriate state social services office.
Client intake forms include name, address and household size, among other information the food pantry is required to collect in order to receive federal assistance, and are kept confidential, as are the identities of clients.
For the most part, DeVoll said the clientele is made up of residents who have fallen on hard times as well as some who are directly referred to the CHFB by social services for more sustained assistance.
"This is emergency food; we're not someplace you are going to come every week," he said. "We see situations where something unexpected happens and they are in tough luck, so we may only see clients one or two times."
With colder months fast approaching, organizations including volunteers at the Feed Our Neighbors craft show are helping the food basket to prepare for the typically increased needs.
To get, or give help:
To contact the Cape Henlopen Food Basket for donations or assistance, call 302-227-3528 during the hours of operation on Mondays, Wednesdays or Fridays.
For those out-of-area or in need of more sustained assistance, contact Adams State Service Center in Georgetown at 302-856-5574.
For more information or to reserve a spot at the Feed Our Neighbors crafts and collectibles show as a vendor, contact Judy Heatly at 302-947-2705.