Support for Kenai Peninsula Food Bank is appreciated

Voices of the Peninsula

Thank you State of Alaska residents supporting the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank through the Pick.Click.Give. program. When you donate through Pick.Click.Give., you make what is called an "unrestricted gift." Like other unrestricted gifts, the organization will use the funds to support its mission. If you chose to share your name with the organizations you choose, you will receive acknowledgement when your gift arrives at the organization in late October or early November of the year you donate. In 2011, organizations received donor names in December.

I would like to tell you and readers what we do at 33955 Community College Drive in Soldotna.

* We feed people because food fulfills a basic human need! We feed people because no one deserves to be hungry! The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank Board members and staff believe nutritious food plays an important part of Kenai Peninsula resident's health and well being. We strive to provide access to the most nutrious food possible to all Kenai Peninsula residents.

* You may know that your meals in the upcoming week will consist of protein, vegetables, fruit, dairy and cereal items or at least your income allows this choice. There are residents of this borough who do not have food on their shelves for a week or even a few days. Take for instance a cancer victim with an 18-year-old daughter, schizophrenic boyfriend and her elderly parents as she apologizes for pulling her slacks because she has lost so much weight. Or the unemployed young father with two young children whose wife just got a part-time job in a local coffee shop. This proud father had never visited the Food Bank before Thanksgiving week.

What is the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank?

* Clearinghouse of food items on the Kenai Peninsula collected throughout the Peninsula although primarily the central Peninsula due to available storage needs, processing over a million pounds of food each year;

* Nonprofit organization organized in 1987 due to concerned citizens witnessing dumpster diving for food;

* Four distinct programs: Warehouse distribution program for 67 member agencies -- churches and nonprofits such as Boys & Girls Club, After the Bell, Senior Centers all located from Homer to Moose Pass; USDA Commodity food program serving all Kenai Peninsula residents whether residing in Seward or Tyonek including redistribution programs in Homer via the Homer Salvation Army, Homer Community Food Pantry and in Kenai via the Kenai Salvation Army or central Peninsula Senior Centers; Direct Service/Emergency Food Program providing perishable items such as dairy, fruits, vegetables, bread and meats; Fireweed Diner (Soup Kitchen) provides a hot meal from 11:30 to 2:30 Monday-Friday; Plus a fifth in the summer as our garden/hoop house program;

* Receive no government funding for general operations and own land and building with a USDA loan.

"We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are." -- Adelle Davis (1904-1974) well-known American nutritionist in the 1950s, 60s and early 70s

For you procrastinators who haven't filed for your PFD yet or those of you who may want to change your PFD designations, please consider our organization or another Peninsula organization for a $25 or more donation from your 2012 PFD. Help us reach our goal of $18,000 of PFD contributions! Your dollars keep the lights on and the building heated.

You may contact me at kpfoodbanked@acsalaska.net or 262-3111. Like us on Facebook or visit our webpage at kpfoodbank.org.

Linda Swarner is the executive director of the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank.

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