'No one deserves to be hungry . . .'

Posted: Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ground was broken this week for the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank's expansion project to upgrade its facility. We're grateful to have the food bank as a resource for our community, and we're just as grateful to live in a community that's so supportive of agencies like the food bank.

Hunger in our community is a problem that isn't easily noticed -- but it is there, and it affects us all. The food bank partners with 65 agencies from Homer to Moose Pass to provide food to people in need, and the numbers here on the Kenai Peninsula continue to grow.

Just this year, the food bank has distributed 700,000 pounds of food. The food bank in August assisted 696 families, and an average of 729 families per month have sought assistance this year. That's an average of 1,800 people per month this year, up from 1,737 in 2009.

That the food bank has been able to meet its Building to Nourish campaign fundraising goal speaks volumes of our community. Even when times are tough, we are willing to help people who might have it tougher.

The food banks also received significant grants from the Rasmuson Foundation, the state and the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust. Further donations to the Building to Nourish campaign will go to additional enhancements to the facility.

The food bank's mission is to "feed people because no one deserves to be hungry." Taking care of those in need is one of the many things that makes our community a special place to live. The food bank receives broad community support, from food drives to donations from businesses. And, all those donations go directly to helping our friends and neighbors right here on the Peninsula.

"Truly, this is neighbor helping neighbor," said food bank Executive Director Linda Swarner. "It's all those 10-dollar, 25-dollar donations that add up, or that bag of food dropped off here."

Information on donating to the food bank, or seeking its assistance, may be found online at www.kpcfoodbank.org, or by calling the food bank at 907-262-3111. The food bank is located at 33955 Community College Dr. in Soldotna, just off Kalifornsky Beach Road.

We applaud our community's support of the food bank, and encourage continued support. The need isn't going away any time soon.

In short: We're grateful to have the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank to help those in need, and we're grateful to live in a community that so willingly supports those efforts.

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