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2023 Year in Review

Published on 03/22/2024
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Rob Gurnee
Executive Director

We are there for people when they have food and housing emergencies. We prevent hunger through our network of food pantries, and prevent homelessness with timely financial assistance for rent, utilities and security deposits.

We also seek to help people move from emergency to empowerment through evidence-based prevention and treatment programming. We partner with ChristianaCare, Nemours Health, Delaware State Housing Authority, the Delaware Quitline, University of Delaware, foundations, and several schools and nonprofit organizations to support our work, provide expertise, and help deliver programming with measurable outcomes.

For a printable version of our Year-in-Review, click the link below.

 

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Food Pantries

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Kellen is a senior on a very limited fixed income. Inflation, medical expenses, and a few unexpected bills some months meant he had to bring a calculator with him to the supermarket and pay careful attention to limit the amount and type of food he could buy. He often ended up with just canned soup, rice and pasta. He now comes to LCS and can “shop for free” and receive meats, fruits and vegetables, eggs and milk, bread, and special items each week. “At 78 years old, I was constantly worried I wouldn’t have enough money to buy the food I needed. It is such a blessing to me that LCS removed that stress from my life. I am treated like a king each week. Everyone is so kind and helpful. Thank you!”

20,034 Pantry Visits

41,781 People Served

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Financial Assistance

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Cheyenne is a single mom who came to us holding her three-month-old son in one arm and eviction papers in the other. She could not work during the last month of her pregnancy or for the first couple of months after her son was born. She found a new job but had fallen behind on rent and was terrified when she received her eviction notice. We listened to Cheyenne’s story, connected her with free legal counsel, and provided the back rent she owed. As a result, her landlord agreed to let her keep the apartment. “I was already feeling like a failure as a mother. I was scared I would have to go into a homeless shelter with my newborn son. You can’t imagine what that feels like. LCS got me out of the worst situation I have ever been in, and I am so grateful. God bless you!”

320 Households, 791 People Helped

$1,003,008 Aid Administered

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Food is Medicine

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Steven was a patient of the Delaware Food Farmacy, a partnership between LCS and ChristianaCare. We deliver medically tailored food to patient homes and Christiana provides social support to help change dietary behavior in order to treat chronic diseases and improve health outcomes.

“I was overweight, my blood pressure was too high, and I feared I might lose one of my feet to diabetes the same way so many others in my family had. From time to time, I tried to eat better, but it never stuck and I really didn’t know what I was doing. I never had any energy and I got depressed a lot. You guys literally saved my life with all the healthy food you provided, and teaching me what to eat and how to cook it. I feel better physically and mentally, and I have a whole new outlook on life!”

Other LCS Food is Medicine initiatives include:

• Providing medically tailored food for children, and their families, managing sickle cell disease
• Establishing new healthy school pantries in three Wilmington public schools
• Ensuring that LCS traditional pantries always have a consistent supply of fresh produce and lean proteins, bridging the gap between food security and nutrition security

Our Health Outcomes:

• Delaware Food Farmacy patients have seen decreases in weight, BMI, blood pressure, and A1C levels
• The Sickle Cell program has reduced the number of hospitalizations and increased doctor appointment compliance
• Participants have increased nutrition knowledge and consumption of healthy food
• Since its inception, we have delivered enough medically-tailored food to create over 100,000 meals

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Housing Stability

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Stephanie came to us because she was behind on her rent. After reviewing her budget, we saw she was paying a lot for medical visits and didn’t have a firm budget. LCS was able to connect Stephanie with a program that helps people get the most out of their medical plans and avoid expensive copays. We also referred her for a financial counseling program that helped her establish a budget. LCS paid one month’s rent for Stephanie, and she is back on her feet with the tools she needs to stay stably housed. “I came to LCS because I needed money, but I left with a lot more!”

In addition to emergency financial assistance, LCS partners with the Delaware State Housing Authority to provide case management services to help people address the factors causing their housing instability. We conduct assessments, establish a plan and set client goals, make referrals, and follow up to provide accountability and support.

266 People engaged with referrals or active case management

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Smoking Cessation

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LCS travels the state and provides education about the dangers of tobacco use, promotes the resources of the Delaware Quitline, makes referrals, provides support, works with local pharmacies, and ensures participants have what they need to be successful.

Gary, recently quit smoking with the help of the Quitline.

“I had shortness of breath and coughed a lot, and was worried about my health. I knew that I smoked too much, but just wasn’t able to quit. At a community event I attended, LCS convinced me I could stop smoking with the right help and connected me to the Delaware Quitline where I received counseling and free products that finally weened me from cigarettes. I am exercising now and feel great. I am also saving a ton of extra money because I don’t waste it buying cigarettes!”

558 community & health provider events/contacts statewide

1,200+ monthly referrals to the Delaware Quitline

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We couldn't do what we do without the support of so many. We thank all of those who have supported us this past year, with a special thanks to the following community partners!

Thank you for making our work possible!

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In 2023, we had a diverse revenue stream and maintained a strong financial condition.*

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*unaudited numbers, as of 12/31/23
In 2023, we achieved a surplus, approximately 70% of which is restricted for future program  use, and the balance can be used for reserves and program development.

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