Food bank asks community for helping hand

This weekend, the Bethany Beach Christian Church & Conference Center will host a Fil-a-Truck event for Vethel Tabernacle Church’s Helping Hands Food Bank. The event, on Saturday, March 8, from 10 a.m. to noon, is designed to help collect food goods for the food bank.

“Basically, what I ask for is peanut butter, jelly, spaghetti sauce, baked beans — what you’d normally request, staples, more or less,” said Barbara Atha, coordinator of the food bank. “We get funding from ACTS. We not only give non-perishables, but we also give them a little meat.”

Atha said that she asks many community organizations to hold such events for the food bank to help collect food for those Helping Hands serves.

“They help us do what we have to do. We have 118 families we serve a month. That can go from one person to one family we have that has 11 people in it,” she explained. “For the most part, what we serve is the elderly, single moms and people who are out of work right now… They find us.”

Atha noted that Helping Hands is constantly in need of goods, as not only do they have families they serve on a regular basis, but they also give out food in emergency situations, as well.

“We have a waiting list,” she said. “We have doubled. We used to have 60 clients. It has just grown. Summertime, you get more. We pick up a lot of foreign students. They aren’t paid much, and they have to find a food bank.”

The price of food is increasing, according to Atha, and she hopes more people who are able to will donate to the food bank and lend a helping hand to those in need.

“It’s the staples you try to give them. I tell you, that old peanut butter and jelly sandwich that used to be reasonable and cheap and stretch along? It’s almost like buying a steak now,” she said. “We’re just trying to provide some support to those who need it.”

The Bethany Beach Christian Church & Conference Center is located at 113 N. Pennsylvania Avenue in Bethany Beach. Bethel Tabernacle Church is located at 34180 Omar Road, east of Frankford. For more information, call (302) 539-5929.