Food drive is Saturday

Melody McNulty of Newark was driving past a daycare a few weeks ago where she saw a line of people waiting for food. Finding herself with more time on her hands, she was inspired to start her own food drive.

After posting on the social media site NextDoor.com, she connected with Luann D’Agostino in the Cotswold Hills neighborhood, and they each collected food in their driveways. Together, they gathered 1,684 pounds of food for the Food Bank of Delaware.

“I was just amazed,” McNulty said. “I was pretty much in my driveway all day long, and it was just a constant flow of neighbors.” People came from as far as Middletown, she said.

When she and D’Agostino dropped off the food, they realized there was still a great need. They decided to go bigger.

Their next food drive will be at Paper Mill Road Park in Newark Saturday, May 9.

Community members can drive up, pop their trunk and donate food without getting out of their car. They can place the food on a table to be picked up if they prefer to unload their own cars. Everyone must wear masks.

Volunteers will be there to help direct cars and move donations. They will load everything in the Food Bank’s 24-foot truck.

“We’re just hoping Saturday will be bigger and better,” McNulty said.

Sen. Dave Sokola heard about McNulty’s first food drive and started spreading the word to other state legislators. He said she deserves a lot of credit for bringing the community together.

“It’s making a good effort to try and help others,” he said. “I’m a big fan of Melody McNulty.”

Already buying extra groceries and supporting their parents, Sokola and his wife Kathy want to support people who may be struggling due to the crisis. “There are a whole lot of other people who don’t have a ‘Dave and Kathy’ and need things.”

He praised the design of the food drive for limiting contact. “I’m cautiously optimistic that it’s going to go well, and hopefully the weather will hold. If they get more than the truck load, I’ve got a pickup truck and I’m happy to help them take stuff to the Food Bank if that’s what they need,” he said.

Some of the most needed items include canned fruits, hot and cold cereal, canned meat, peanut butter, rice, canned and dried beans, canned vegetables, 100% fruit or vegetable juice and healthy snacks like raisins or granola bars.