Volunteers at the Sunday Breakfast Mission in Wilmington worked in the freezing rain to distribute Thanksgiving food boxes to needy Delaware families.
Despite the cold and wet weather, volunteers greeted patrons with a warm smile as they helped to load the 50 pound boxes into vehicles.
“It’s really a blessing,” said volunteer Joan Pierce. “They’re just glad to have the meal, glad to have the help, and were glad to do it”
This is the 11th year Sunday Breakfast Mission has given out Thanksgiving dinner boxes and Rev. Tom Laymon said the service has grown each year.
“That first year was only about 100 [or] 150 and this year it’s over 1,500 food boxes and turkeys going to families,” he said.
Additionally, they will serve around 1,000 Thanksgiving dinners at the mission on Thursday.
“It’s a real celebration,” he said. “We have a great day here. We fill up two dining rooms and down the hallways with tables.”
Collecting 40 tons
In order to feed that many people, the mission begins collecting Thanksgiving staples in October. They set up food drop off locations at WSFS bank with a goal of collecting roughly 40 tons of food.
They also rely on donations to purchase turkeys.
“We had two big donors step up to the plate,” said Laymon. “DuPont came forward with $10,000 to buy turkeys and Burris Logistics has been coming forward with $12,000 to help us get turkeys as well.”
In addition to all of the donations they received, Rev. Laymon said they had to purchase $7,000 of additional items because the need for food is so critical for many Delaware families.
Tough times remain
“The recession hasn’t ended for so many folks that we’re serving,” he said.
Within five hours, Rev. Laymon said 1,400 families signed up for the Thanksgiving food boxes this year and hundreds more have called to inquire about food availability.
The mission is still accepting donations and food items can be dropped off at the Sunday Breakfast Mission headquarters located at 110 N. Poplar Street in downtown Wilmington.
They also accept donations online at sundaybreakfastmission.org