Bean’s Café crafting 1,000 meals for Thanksgiving

The event is expected to feed 200 people. Additionally Bean’s Cafe will deliver Thanksgiving meals to homeless camps around Anchorage.
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 3:41 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Thanksgiving smells filled Bean’s Cafe Tuesday morning, as workers and volunteers continued to tackle the meal prep needed for the organization’s Thanksgiving week meal distributions.

“So, we are really excited to be able to provide about a thousand people a Thanksgiving meal this year,” said Lisa Sauder, the CEO of Bean’s Café.

Sauder and her team will be co-hosting a congregate Thanksgiving meal on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Henry House. The event is expected to feed 200 people. Additionally, Bean’s Café will be hitting the road to deliver warm Thanksgiving meals to homeless camps around Anchorage. It is a demand the organization saw after seeing many shelters reaching capacity.

“There is very limited space for people. Many people are camping,” Sauder said.

Sauder also said, overall, they have noticed a larger need for support this year. The average cost for a Thanksgiving dinner has gone up by 20%, around $10 more than last year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. The increase in price intertwined with additional financial burdens facing families has left many struggling to set food on the table.

“There’s so many factors right now that are really impacting food security for people,” Sauder said. “Rising inflation, rising grocery prices, gas prices, so many things. And the kids are going to be out of school.”

Leaving a gap in meals for some families.

“That always puts extra burdens on families,” Sauder said. “Because when the kids maybe could be getting their breakfast and lunch at school, for example, they can’t get it when they are on holiday.”

On Wednesday, for the first time ever, Bean’s Café will also be distributing 100 Thanksgiving meal kits for families, to help make sure that everyone has a meal on the holiday. They are expecting that the meal preparation kits will help feed 400-plus people for the Holiday.

“Whether you’re homeless or you’re just struggling to make ends meet, nobody should go without a Thanksgiving meal,” Sauder said.

Sauder said that it is thanks to the donations and volunteers in the community that allow them to do this. The organization said they are all set this year for volunteers for Thanksgiving, but are always looking for protein donations if anybody is interested in donating food.