Volunteers at Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church in Ocean View have established two new programs to provide for those in need.
“Seeing all the lines for food, and the need right now, touched a number of us, so we wanted to do something,” said Fran Milio, coordinator, adding that volunteers are working with the Food Bank of Delaware to start a Senior Nutrition Program and Emergency Food Pantry.
Seniors who earn less than $17,000 annually can receive a 25- to 30-pound box of canned goods and packaged foods, plus a block of cheese, once each month.
“With unemployment as bad as it’s going to get again, we thought the need is there and people might run out, so we started the Emergency Food Pantry. We are partnering with Mountaire and the Food Bank, so any Delaware resident can come to the church and get food from 10 to 11 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, except holidays. They can come once a week.
“They just drive by and get a box of food. We try to mix it so there is protein and vegetables, carbohydrates. If we have hygiene items, like soap or shampoo, we add those, and they get a chicken and a couple loaves of bread,” Milio said.
Anyone interested in donating can e-mail her at [email protected].
About 80 volunteers operate the three programs.
Because of coronavirus restrictions, Mariner’s Bethel had to discontinue its popular Thursday lunches, open to the public, but Feed My Sheep, the church’s program for delivery of foods, continued and has added five families, bringing the total to 45 families served each week.
For Thanksgiving and Christmas, special meals will be prepared for families that receive Feed My Sheep meals.
“They will get a huge meal — chicken, salad, green bean casserole, gravy, mashed potatoes. It’s a big meal. We will give them pie for Thanksgiving, and cranberry bread or cookies for Christmas,” she said.
All items are provided by the church.