For thousands of residents in the First State and across the world, the past two years have been difficult. In 2020, the global pandemic shut down thousands of businesses and forced everyone to shelter in place for months on end. In 2021, Delawareans have seen an increase in grocery store prices, gas prices and the number of homeless people, according to the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Because of this, there’s no time like the present to lend a hand to locals who need it.
Here are a few ways to give back this holiday season and help those in our community who are in great need.
According to Feeding America, more than 42 million people experienced food insecurity in 2021. In Delaware, Feeding America estimates that one in nine people face hunger, totaling more than 114,190 people. We can change that by donating to local food drives, pantries and baskets across the state.
WSFS Bank Annual Fall Food Drive
For the 18th annual fall food drive, WSFS Bank and local organizations team up to fight food insecurity. From now through December 31, all WSFS bank locations will collect nonperishable food items to donate to the Sunday Breakfast Mission—a nonprofit organization that serves the homeless and impoverished through services, community support and more.
Food Farmacy with the Lutheran Community Services
In collaboration with ChristianaCare, Lutheran Community Services’ Food Farmacy works to minimize barriers for people with high-risk medical needs. The program provides clinical care, social care and food to Delawareans who have health issues and need additional support. Locals can donate kitchen supplies like cooking spray, olive and canola oils, natural peanut butter, fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
2809 Baynard Blvd., Wilmington; 654-8886
Cape Henlopen Food Basket
The Cape Henlopen Food Basket provides families with a 10-day supply of canned and frozen food, meats and fresh produce like milk, eggs and butter. Guests can donate nonperishable food items like coffee, tea, and canned products or check in with the organization’s food donation guidelines to choose items it needs.
37510 Oyster House Rd., Rehoboth Beach; 227-3528
Milton Community Food Pantry
As a nonprofit organization, the Milton Community Food Pantry serves approximately 85 families a week three meals a day for three days. Each year, the pantry serves more than 130,000 meals. Donate items on its weekly donations list like canned vegetables and fruit, applesauce, canned pasta, dried spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, canned soup, cereal and rice.
Distribution sites vary; 278-9557
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One Warm Coat
As a national non-profit, One Warm Coat believes in the basic right to have protection from the cold. Every year, One Warm Coat hosts annual coat drives, coat donations and even financial donations to create awareness about the need for warm coats. There are numerous donation locations in Delaware that accept gently worn, clean and wearable coats during store hours to be given to those in need this winter.
Donation locations vary; 877-663-9276
Ministry of Caring
This year, to help people in need, the Ministry of Caring hosts Operation Overcoat, a coat drive that helps locals in the community stay warm and dry this winter. On Wednesday, November 25 and Tuesday, December 1, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., locals can drop off their gently used coats, hats, scarves and gloves to the Ministry’s distribution center.
1410 N. Claymont St., Wilmington; 652-0969
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Friendship House Clothing Bank
The Friendship House unites people who are facing homelessness with a community that offers shelter, food, clothing and more. This year, the Friendship House’s clothing bank accepts donations of new and gently worn clothing for men, women and children to be given to locals through its Empowerment Centers, human service agencies and referrals. You can even donate items through its Amazon wish list.
1603 Jessup St., Suite 3, Wilmington; 654-1390
An easy way to donate your new and gently used clothing and household goods is through GreenDrop. Each donation is given to individuals in need and organizations like the American Red Cross, Military Order of the Purple Heart and the National Federation of the Blind. Acceptable donation items include clothing, shoes, blankets, bedding, tools, collectibles, toys, sporting goods, small appliances and electronics.
2308 Concord Pike, Wilmington; 888-944-3767
Exceptional Care for Children
As Delaware’s first and only pediatric skilled nursing facility, Exceptional Care for Children helps to improve the lives of medically fragile children and their families. It offers skilled nursing, transitional services and palliative care to provide as normal a childhood as possible.
11 Independence Way, Newark; 894-1001
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Sunday Breakfast Mission
The Sunday Breakfast Mission offers overnight shelter, a new life discipleship program and community support for locals experiencing homelessness in Delaware. Its programs shelter Delaware’s homeless and help walk them through the steps to get back on their feet.
101 N. Poplar St., Wilmington; (877) 306-4063
St. Patrick’s Center in Wilmington
For more than 50 years, the St. Patrick’s Center in Wilmington has helped the community through emergency food donations, meals, respite for the homeless, clothing, transportation and even recreational activities for people in need.
107 E. 14th St., Wilmington; 652-6219
Ronald McDonald House
Serving families with seriously ill children, the Ronald McDonald House offers better access to medical care and gives families comfort during their time of need. Families can stay at the House when their child is receiving treatment in an area hospital. The Ronald McDonald House also operates two Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at the ChristianaCare Newark campus and Nemours Children’s Hospital, respectively.
1901 Rockland Rd., Wilmington; 656-4847
The Salvation Army of Delaware
One of the most well-known charities to donate to is the Salvation Army, whose programs help families, individuals and communities. The Army offers emergency housing, childcare, a senior center, family services crisis alleviation, programs for adults with disabilities and programs for working parents on welfare. It also offers shelter, hot meals, counseling, job training and educational programs.
400 N. Orange St., Wilmington; 472-0775