DNREC’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program distributes more than 16,000 pounds of venison to Delawareans in need

DOVER – During the 2015/16 deer season, Delaware hunters donated 586 deer to DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program. The donations were processed into 16,599 pounds of venison, which will provide more than 72,000 meals for needy Delawareans. Division of Fish & Wildlife staff distributed the frozen ground venison to 34 charitable organizations and food pantries throughout the state.

Venison for the Sportsmen Against Hunger program was processed by eight participating private butchers and the Sussex Community Corrections Center’s (SCCC) butcher shop in Georgetown, which is staffed by offenders who are serving sentences in the SCCC’s Violation of Probation Center and who have been specially trained for the job as part of a job training program. Since the SCCC program began in 2005 through 2014/15 season (figures from last season were unavailable), the facility has processed more than 81,000 pounds of venison donated to the Sportsmen Against Hunger program.

With the number of donated deer down slightly this season from last season’s 604, 2,148 pounds less venison was produced than for the 2015/16 season.

Since the Delaware Sportsmen Against Hunger program was founded in 1992 by a coalition of sporting groups, hunters have donated a total of about 455,079 pounds of venison, providing more than 1.7 million meals to Delawareans in need.

For more information, please visit the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s website at Sportsmen Against Hunger, or call 302-284-4795.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 228

Food safety certification course offered to potential on-farm food entrepreneurs

DOVER – Agricultural entrepreneurs who want to produce certain foods in their on-farm kitchens can receive food safety training and become certified under Delaware law at an upcoming workshop jointly sponsored by the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension and the Delaware Department of Agriculture. A previously scheduled class was rescheduled due to a conflict.

The eight-hour “Food Safety for Entrepreneurs” program presented by Dr. Sue Snider of the University of Delaware will take place Saturday, March 14, at the Department of Agriculture offices near Camden, 2320 South DuPont Highway. The class will be 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Participants should arrive by 7:45 for registration and bring a bagged lunch.

Register by March 12 by contacting Debra Whitmore at debra.whitmore@delaware.gov or 302-698-4540.

Participants will learn how to identify potentially hazardous and non-potentially hazardous foods; understand foodborne pathogens and ways to control them; reduce the risk of foodborne illness; evaluate their plan for controlling potential microbial problems; and understand state regulations on farm-produced, non-potentially hazardous food items.

Those items include such things as baked breads, cakes, muffins, cookies, non-chocolate candy, jellies, jams, preserves, marmalades, fruit butters, fruit pies, herbs in vinegar, honey and herb mixtures, dried fruit and vegetables, spices or herbs, maple syrup, sorghum, popcorn, caramel corn, peanut brittle and roasted nuts.

The training, certification and inspections of farm kitchens are required under Delaware regulations adopted in 2006, and apply to farmers who wish to process non-potentially hazardous foods in their on-farm home kitchens for sale to the public at DDA-listed farmers’ markets, on their farm or at a roadside stand on or near their farm. On-farm kitchens will be inspected by appointment after participants complete the training and pass a written test.

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Nancy Gainer, University of Delaware, 302-831-2501 (office), ngainer@udel.edu
Dan Shortridge, Delaware Department of Agriculture, 302-698-4520 (office), daniel.shortridge@delaware.gov

Lt. Governor, Seaford School District Announce New District-Wide Elementary School Breakfast Program

Lt. Governor, Seaford School District Announce New District-Wide Elementary School Breakfast Program

 DOVER, DE – Yesterday, Lieutenant Governor Matt Denn was joined by Seaford School District officials to announce that the Seaford School District is the first Delaware school district to join his campaign to allow students to eat breakfast in the classroom in all of its elementary schools.

National research has demonstrated that eating breakfast has a significant impact on students’ academic performance and overall well-being, and that allowing students to eat breakfast in the classroom dramatically increases the number of students who eat a nutritious breakfast.  Delaware ranks 22nd in the country with respect to the percentage of income-eligible students who eat breakfast at school.  Prior to Seaford accepting the Lieutenant Governor’s challenge, the Colonial School District was the only other school district in Delaware that offered breakfast to all of its elementary school students.

“Offering breakfast in the classroom is something that we know will help our kids, and something that we can do today,” Lieutenant Governor Denn said.   “I applaud Seaford for its effort, and I hope other districts will follow suit.  When I leave Seaford today, I’ll be driving to yet another elementary school in a nearby district to talk to its principal about following Seaford’s example.”

Lieutenant Governor Denn was joined at today’s press conference at West Seaford Elementary School by Seaford’s Interim Superintendent Kevin Carson, Nutrition Services Supervisor Patricia Cunningham, and the principals of all four Seaford elementary schools.

“At West Seaford Elementary, now that every student can eat breakfast for free, an average of 87 more students a day are eating breakfast,” said West Seaford Principal Julie Giangiulio, whose student breakfast participation has jumped from 55% to 80% in the three months since in-classroom breakfast began.  “That is 87 students that were likely going hungry before. When students are hungry they can struggle concentrating, get frequent headaches, and they can even struggle with behavior problems. Bringing free breakfast to West Seaford means our students have one less obstacle in their path toward a bright and healthy future.”

Since beginning the classroom breakfast program in January, Blades Elementary has increased its breakfast participation by 12%.  Central Elementary’s first day of offering breakfast in the classroom is today, March 19th and Frederick Douglass will follow on March 31st.

On average, Central serves 180 students a day for breakfast.  Today, the first day of their classroom breakfast program, they served 301 students, which is a jump from 38% to 64% of their students.

“There has always been tremendous disparity between the Seaford School District lunch participation and the breakfast participation,” said Nutrition Services Supervisor Patricia Cunningham.   “Obstacles, like busing and class scheduling, which were beyond the Nutrition Services Department control, prompted the department to look at alternate methods to reach the students for breakfast service.  It was also our mission to reach our students, given the fact that 74% of our students qualify for free or reduced-priced meals.”