To meet growing needs, the Food Bank of Delaware plans to double the size of its 8,000-square-food facility in Milford through a $60,000 donation from the the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation.

As the economy fluctuates and more and more people find themselves in need, The Food Bank of Delaware finds itself serving more people than ever before.

To help meet these growing needs, the Food Bank of Delaware plans to double the size of its 8,000-square-food facility in Milford. And, now, the Arthur W. Perdue Foundation has donated $60,000 to help fund the $2.7 million expansion project.

Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO, Patricia Beebe, said that the organization is incredibly grateful for partners like Perdue.

“With more than one in four Delawareans depending on our food assistance services and thousands of children in need of after-school and summer meals, the expansion of our facility in Milford is needed now more than ever,” Beebe said.

Perdue Chaiman, Jim Perdue, while presenting the grant, said that Perdue believes that no one should have to go hungry in a country as rich in resources as the United States.

“We recognize the valuable role the food bank plays in the communities in which our associates live and work in Delaware and we’re proud to lend our support through this foundation grant,” Perdue said.

Kim Kostes, Community Relations Manager for the Delaware Food Bank, added that once the building is complete, the Food Bank will finally have a venue to provide job training skills to the people of Kent and Sussex Counties through the organization’s culinary school. The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware affords job training to unemployed and underemployed individuals through a 12-week program that includes 10 weeks of hands-on training in basic and high-end kitchen skills, safe food handling, and life skills.  The final two weeks of the program culminate with an internship at a food service company, restaurant, or catering business.

Kostes also stated that the expansion will allow the Milford branch to produce hot meals that will be directly served to the children of Kent County in need.

“Through the help of volunteers, we will be able to load vans and go to after-school sites like Boys and Girls Clubs and day cares ensuring that more children are being properly fed,” Kostes said.

The Food Bank of Delaware estimates that 241,600 Delawareans received assistance in 2010.  In Kent County, the estimates point to 12. 9 percent or 19,580 people were ‘food insecure’ last year.  Food insecurity is described as having a limited supply or uncertain availability of nutritional and adequate food.