The Valero Oil refinery is shutting down in Delaware City, DE. Its closure could have a rippling into the rest of New Castle County, including organizations that rely heavily on volunteers.
Hundreds of laid off workers are struggling financially following the closure of a Delaware refinery. But the effect of the shutdown is rippling into the rest of the community, including organizations that rely heavily on volunteers.
Each day, Meals on Wheels Delaware delivers food to 700 homebound seniors in New Castle County.
The program is heavily supported by local businesses that encourage employees to volunteer during work hours. About a tenth of the group’s volunteers were from Valero’s Delaware City refinery until November, when the plant was forced to shut down because of the weak economy.
Erica Brown with Meals on Wheels says that closure put the non-profit in crisis mode.
Brown: Valero was one of our really big supporters. They delivered three delivery routes per day in the Delaware City and Bear area and they delivered to about 50 clients a day so with that loss we are really scrambling to fill those delivery routes.
Meals on Wheels is now asking existing volunteers and staff members to take on additional shifts until new volunters can fill those gaps.
Mayor John Martin of Delaware City knows all too well about how the Valero Plant contributes to the region. They contribute huge amounts of money to the local library. There are businesses in town who depend on the lunch time crowd. Those people are gone now. Learn more about Valero and its impact on Delaware City and New Castle County by watching the public media news magazine FIRST seen Friday’s at 5:30 and 10pm with repeat broadcasts on Saturday and Sunday on Y-info, and another airing Monday’s at 5:30 on WHYY-TV 12