Following frustrating week, Sen. Coons visits Delaware Food Bank

Coons joins the leader of Feeding America to examine Food Bank’s summer feeding program, the largest in Feeding America’s network.

After a week of bickering and gridlock in Washington surrounding the debt ceiling, Senator Coons spent some time this morning at the Food Bank of Delaware in Newark to congratulate workers and volunteers for the work they do. “What you’re doing is challenging the rest of us,” Coons told the group. “You’re challenging us in Washington to be grown ups, to find ways to come together and feed our people.”

Coons said his visit was a pick-me up after the week’s contentious debate in D.C. “I came today to be encouraged. Because every time I’m here, I get a sense of what the beautiful mosaic of human experience here in Delaware can produce.”

Coons was joined by Feeding America President and CEO Vicki Escarra, who wanted a look at the Food Bank of Delaware’s summer feeding program, which is the largest of all Feeding America members. “I wanted to see the best in class, which is why I’m here,” Escarra said. “We as a network feed 37 million Americans, 14 million kids. We do it through 61,000 agencies.”

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While demand for food is rising in Delaware, the Food Bank’s supply is not. In 2010, food donations were down three million pounds. Coons talked about the imbalance in childhood obesity and kids who go hungry. “All of us in our hearts recognize just how profoundly painful it is to be in a country where childhood obesity is a broad, national health problem, at the very same time that tens of millions of Americans struggle with hunger. It is striking.”

Earlier this week, Coons focused on hunger and famine in Africa during a Senate committee meeting. Humanitarian groups testified before the Subcommittee on African Affairs about the worst drought in the Horn of Africa region in 60 years.  Coons urged the U.S. and the international community to provide humanitarian aid to the area. “Americans have demonstrated great leadership helping those in need both domestically and abroad,” Coons said. “I am confident we will continue to partner with the international community to save lives and protect future generations in the Horn of Africa.”  Click here to see a map of the affected area put together by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

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