CAMDEN, Del. — The Delaware Farm Bureau Foundation’s 8th annual 5k Milk Run/Walk brought in more than 100 participants over the weekend and served up connections that could last a lifetime.
Runners and walkers gathered in person at Buffalo Wild Wings in Dover Saturday morning, May 8, for the 5k Run/Walk along the St. Jones Isaac Branch Trail before enjoying a misty awards ceremony and free ice cream from Woodside Farm Creamery in Hockessin.
“There’s a lot of misinformation that goes on about the dairy and agriculture industries so this event helps to get the message out to those who are unaware. And the ice cream is great,” Delaware Dairy Princess Bethany Knutsen of Harrington said.
The event benefits not only the foundation but the Food Bank of Delaware’s Backpack program and the Ministry of Caring’s Milk for Children Fund, as well, according to Foundation Coordinator Kali Voshell.
Priscilla Rakestraw of the Ministry of Caring and Chad Robinson of the Food Bank of Delaware were both on hand for this year’s event, cheering on the participants while sharing information and updates on their organizations.
“We need the help of everybody to feed and to clothe and to shelter the poorest among us,” Ms. Rakestraw said. “Because of this event, we can give milk to every child that comes to the dining room and every child that comes to our shelter. I don’t know what we would do without it. It is so important to us that people care and for the Farm Bureau Foundation to come forward every year and say we want to help you take care of the poorest among us.”
This year, Ms. Rakestraw may have walked away from the event with more than just donations for her organization.
“The folks at Woodside Farm Creamery talked to me about truck drivers and I’m going to go home and look into starting a CDL program. It’s all about the connections,” she said.
The Ministry of Caring is located in Wilmington but serves people from all over Delaware through emergency and domestic violence shelters, child care centers, low-income senior facilities, clothing and furniture distribution centers, job placement services and more.
“We serve about 500 people a day and that’s a lot of milk. It has been challenging for the ministry but devastating for the poor,” she explained. “People come from all over the state. Some people, for example, come as far as Sussex County to get their teeth done. We have one elderly couple that takes three buses to come to our elderly clinic.
People gravitate to Wilmington because that’s where the services are. Yesterday, the youngest was three, the oldest [people] were 87-year-old twin sisters who lost their little phone answering business and now cross the street holding on to each other to now what is their only warm meal of the day. These people have lost their job and lost their hope. We are so grateful for this.”
The Food Bank of Delaware’s Backpack Program reaches families across the state, too. According to the organization, 132 schools distributed backpacks filled with weekend meals during the 2019-2020 school year reaching 5,857 students.
For more information on the Food Bank of Delaware, visit www.fbd.org. The Ministry of Caring can be found online at www.ministryofcaring.org. Stay up-to-date or discover membership benefits with the Delaware Farm Bureau at www.defb.org.
–Jennifer Antonik, Delaware Farm Bureau