Governor’s Weekly Message Transcript: Sharing A Second Helping with Those in Need

As we celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of a new year, our thoughts often turn to individuals in our state who are struggling. I do not take for granted that I have a warm bed to sleep in and a pantry full of food. But I know there are Delawareans who are not as fortunate, and must often decide on living without heat, living without food, or both. That’s why we are joining with Delaware 2-1-1, the Coalition to End Hunger and the Food Bank of Delaware on a campaign called Share a Second Helping. During January and February, we will have barrels out across our state to accept your generous food donations. At my office in New Castle, we have a permanent barrel, and I am grateful that it continues to be filled. The campaign goal is simple: Collect 100,000 pounds of food to meet the immediate needs of Delawareans who are hungry.

In my agency, the Department of Health and Social Services, we serve 156,000 Delawareans who receive Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program benefits. In November, cuts by Congress reduced our SNAP budget by $16 million. Working with partners like the Food Bank, we are determined to close that gap and make sure that no one goes hungry. That’s why we are asking for your support. In addition to meeting the immediate need, DHSS will continue to reach out to individuals about the resources available to them. Most importantly, working with advocates, and the state and federal governments, we must find long-term solutions to the problem of hunger. From all of us at DHSS and on behalf of Governor Markell, we wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year. And in 2014 and beyond, you have our commitment that we will work to reduce hunger in our state as we keep Delaware moving forward.