Pandemic causes demand for help from Food Bank of Alaska

Published: Oct. 18, 2020 at 3:41 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) -“Just got one of these, right,” asks LouAnne Carroll-Tyseal. She shops for groceries for Talkeetna’s Susitna Food Pantry at the Food Bank of Alaska

There’s now more food to help those who need it.

Workers unload the latest donation from ConocoPhillips, where employees collected nearly $200,000.

That’s enough to provide one million meals to feed families across the state at a time when it’s greatly needed.

“Demand has gone up 70% or so over a year ago,” said Food Bank of Alaska CEO Jim Baldwin. “So we’re just seeing way more people needing support this time.”

The Food Bank of Alaska normally serves around 100,000 people a month through the 150 agencies around the state.

COVID-19 has changed that.

“It’s going to be over 170,000 people now as we continue to get back to responding, getting people back to work,” Baldwin said. “There’s still a lot of folks that need support out there.”

Especially in rural Alaska.

“I think we signed up about 20 different new non-profit organizations throughout rural Alaska, sending them food on a regular basis,” said Baldwin.

The Susitna Food Pantry says it helped an extra 25 families in September, it expects that number to increase.

“We have a summer/winter economy,” Carroll-Tyseal said. “They use the summer employment to get through the winter. Well, that didn’t happen this year.”

But, the Susitna Food Pantry and others have more food to help those struggling due to the pandemic.

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