For its monthly First Friday celebration, the community of Delaware will come together to fill hearts and stomachs this Thanksgiving.
Main Street Delaware’s November First Friday celebration is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. in the city’s downtown district.
“What I think is the best part [about First Fridays] is that the community all comes together,” said Susie Bibler, executive director of Main Street Delaware. “The whole community comes down and supports the small businesses.”
In line with the holiday spirit of giving thanks, November’s First Friday celebration will be focused on donating food to those less fortunate in order to ensure that no one goes without food on this special holiday.
“It highlights the support we have for people who are in hunger and will educate people about being food hungry,” Bibler explained.
In the past, Main Street Delaware has partnered with Lutheran Social Services, but this time it will be partnering with the United Way of Delaware County Hunger Alliance in order to help all of the food pantries in the area.
According to Feeding America, in 2015, 16,210 Delaware County residents were food-insecure, meaning they did not know where they would secure their next meal. Many of these people represent vulnerable populations of the community, such as the elderly or children. Approximately 1 in 5 children is considered food-insecure, according to Feeding America.
“We actually have more hungry people in the city of Delaware than in some southern Ohio regions,” said Barb Lyon of the Delaware County United Way. “We are a growing community and with that comes a growing need.”
In order to help fill this need, the community is encouraged to bring in shelf-stable food donations to fill the two shopping carts that will be placed throughout downtown. There will also be a distribution truck from Lutheran Social Services in case there is any overflow of donations. All of the donations will be collected in the end and distributed to the local food pantries.
For every five items donated, participants will also receive a discount shopping pass of up to 10 percent off from participating businesses. The full list of businesses can be found on Main Street Delaware’s Facebook page.
Activities for kids include crafts, face painting, and street magic shows performed by Magic Nate. Cooking Matters from Ohio Wesleyan University will conduct demonstrations. A Gratitude Wall will be placed along the street where people can write and share about those things for which they are thankful.
“[It is] to get them thinking about what food means to them and start the conversation,” Bibler said.
Saideepika Rayala is an intern for The Delaware Gazette. She is a sophomore at Olentangy Liberty High School.