Sometimes food banks stick to distributing nonperishable goods.
But the volunteers at the Dover Area Food Bank work hard to offer families fresh fruits and vegetables and special things like pancakes and syrup to go with the essentials.
"I always say the government gives us food to keep you alive, and we try to make it taste good," said Eleanore Eyster.
Eyster is the manager of the Dover Area Food Bank, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary this month with an open house for the community.
The open house will be held from 10 a.m. until noon on Friday at the food bank at 1832 Industrial Court in Dover.
"Our food bank is set up similar to a grocery store, so clients can choose off the shelf what they'd like rather than being given a box," said Eyster, 68, who has been the manager for six years.
"That way we don't have as much waste. We have volunteers that shop with them to guide them through."
"I enjoy just reaching out and helping the people in the community," said Eyster, who has been volunteering at the food bank for seven years.
By the numbers: More than 230 food orders were given to families in May, Eyster said, and last year about 53 volunteers put in 3,038 service hours at the food bank.
When the Rev. Kenneth Barner started the food bank in 1982, it only had nine volunteers and worked out of the basement of Dover Bethany United Methodist Church. It moved to its current location in 1986.
The food bank serves the Dover Area School District and is run entirely on volunteer power with no paid employees, Eyster said.
"We have volunteers who unload trucks, and there's a lot of sorting and shelf stocking too," said Eyster. "They are a good group of people, just wonderful."
The food bank works and shares a building with New Hope Ministries, which screens clients and issues food vouchers for families that qualify for food assistance. The food bank also receives support from churches in the surrounding area.
Donations are always welcome -- whether in the form of money, time volunteering, or fresh or nonperishable foods.
The food bank is open Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 11 a.m., and it also keeps a supply of "crisis bags" in the New Hope Ministries office area for families who need the food before they can come in for an appointment.
For more information on getting involved with the Dover Area Food Bank, call 292-9876.