Cathy Kanefsky is president and CEO of the Food Bank of Delaware.
As the president and CEO of the Food Bank of Delaware, I find myself reflecting on the extraordinary challenges our community has faced this year. The increased demands on our organization have been unprecedented, revealing both the depth of need and the unwavering spirit of generosity within our community.
We are seeing more people now than we did at the height of the pandemic. Last year, our on-site Healthy Pantry Centers saw a 76% increase in visits. In just the past two weeks, more than 5,000 families waited several hours to receive assistance at one of our three mass countywide distributions.
Putting healthy meals on the table has become more difficult for Delaware families, whose household budgets are being strained by the high cost of groceries, child care, housing, gasoline and other basic necessities.
The role of food banks like ours is more critical than ever. Daily, we meet neighbors who tell us they have never needed to come to us before for food assistance.
Despite this adversity, I am heartened by the remarkable outpouring of support from our community. The giving spirit has not only sustained our organization but has allowed us to expand our reach and provide hope to so many who oftentimes feel hopeless. It is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the collective strength we possess when faced with challenges.
This Thanksgiving, as many gather around tables filled with abundance, we must acknowledge that far too many of our neighbors are facing the stark realities of food insecurity.
Our volunteers, donors and partners have exemplified the true meaning of Thanksgiving by coming together to ensure that no one in our community goes to bed hungry. In times of crisis, we have witnessed the transformative power of empathy and shared responsibility.
As we express gratitude for the blessings in our own lives, let us also extend our hands to lift those who are struggling. This Thanksgiving, let us reaffirm our commitment to building a community where no one is left behind and compassion and generosity triumph over adversity.
In the spirit of unity and gratitude, I extend my deepest appreciation to every individual who has contributed to our mission. Together, we are not just filling plates; we are nourishing hope and helping to create a brighter future for all.
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