In March, with nearly no warning, tens of millions of Americans found themselves out of work. Immediately, the staff at the Food Bank of Delaware jumped into action. For former Co-op Youth Tour participant Chad Robinson — the Food Bank’s director of community relations — responding to the COVID-19 crisis would mean many sleepless nights. “It’s an unprecedented time. We’ve never seen anything like this,” said Robinson. “So many people never thought that they would have a need — that this would be them. It happened overnight.”
Due to the dedication of Robinson and a team of staff and selfless volunteers, the Food Bank is feeding 1,000 homeless Delawareans per day. Mass food distribution events over the past few months have also fed more than 15,000 people. Robinson is proud to be one of the community leaders in the First State making a difference during the pandemic. One of his first lessons in leadership came when he was a junior at Woodbridge High School in 2000. Robinson was selected to represent DEC at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association's Summer Youth Tour in Washington, D.C. “Growing up in a small town, there was this realization that the world was bigger than Bridgeville or Harrington. Youth Tour was an extension of that.”
During the 2000 Youth Tour, Robinson met hundreds of students from all over America and took part in sessions designed to introduce teenagers to the concept of leadership.
“It was a great opportunity to learn how to lead and how to express yourself. I also learned that the lens through which we each view the world is unique and special. We all bring something special to the table, no matter our background,” said Robinson.
Youth Tour helped prepare Robinson for the important jobs he would hold over his still burgeoning career. He’s worked for Sen. Tom Carper, was a special assistant to the president of Wesley College and was a legislative liaison for Lt. Gov. Matt Denn. With lessons learned from his parents, his professional achievements, and even Youth Tour, Robinson said he’ll continue his work to help those in need during this difficult time because it’s the right thing to do.