The Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship collaborated with TD Bank and the Food Bank of Delaware to produce a personal finance education night for families in Wilmington.

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2:57 p.m., May 20, 2014--Personal finance education became a family affair for nearly 40 families who participated in a family financial literacy education night sponsored by the University of Delaware’s Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship in collaboration with TD Bank and the Food Bank of Delaware at Stubbs Elementary School in Wilmington last week.

In support of these efforts, TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of the bank, announced a $95,000 donation to the Food Bank of Delaware at the event. Of the funds, $50,000 will help support the Food Bank of Delaware’s mobile pantry program, a 30-foot mobile pantry truck with dry and cold storage. 

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“We may be a big bank but we are all about acting locally and being involved in our communities,” said Terry Kenny, TD Bank market president for the D.C. metro area, Virginia and Delaware. “We heard of the great work of CEEE in financial literacy, and through our partnership with the Food Bank of Delaware saw we had a great opportunity to support the needs of Delawareans.”

During the program, adults attended a financial literacy session on elementary banking and credit management facilitated by a TD representative, while volunteers from the bank and UD read stories with a personal finance focus to the students. 

Every little bit helps when it comes to saving, said Sharlene Kent, the TD Bank representative who spoke to parents about a variety of credit management tools, including how to obtain a credit report and how to open a free saving account for children under the age of 18.

“Even collecting cans to turn them in for money can be put into a savings account,” said one parent, who agreed with Kent that the dollars do add up even if you’re only looking at a little bit each day.

Other parents said that saving a little each month can also help with birthdays and holidays.

“Some banks have holiday club accounts where you can put in a set amount each week or each month and then you can access that money for holidays instead of dipping into your savings account,” said Kent. “That’s just one of the things you can do throughout the year to plan ahead.”

“The financial contribution provided to the Food Bank of Delaware will go a long way to help low-income families in our community,” said Carlos Asarta, director of CEEE. “But TD Bank’s support goes beyond financial contribution; its employees are always willing to volunteer their time to improve the well-being and financial knowledge of the citizens of Delaware. We are extremely fortunate to have such a strong partnership with TD Bank.”

A number of volunteers also included students from a “Youth Street Outreach” course taught by Lana Harrison, professor of sociology and criminal justice at UD.

Harrison said the course aims to increase social capital among youth by encouraging and facilitating youth participation in community education, recreational and social support services and activities.

Meghan Kenia, a teaching assistant in Harrison’s course, said she “loved the course description” and it drew her to get involved two years ago.

“We’re here to talk to youth and engage them in activities,” said Kenia. “We empower them through play as the vehicle, not the motive, to give them hope for the future and things like going to college and attending places like UD.”

Kenia said the students in the course are trained and work with Harrison and community volunteers to approach youth hanging out on the street, hand out informational pamphlets and let them know about events and resources — like the Food Bank of Delaware’s mobile pantry — available to them.  

After participating in the financial literacy and children’s sessions, families received a voucher to select $75 worth of free groceries from the Food Bank of Delaware’s mobile pantry truck, ultimately taking home nearly 100 pounds of fresh produce, assorted food and nonperishables.

Article by Kathryn Meier

Photos by Evan Krape

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