As a result of the community generosity of the peninsula community, the Food Bank was the recipient of nearly 2,000 pounds of foodstuffs to ensure hungry Kenai Peninsula families were able to celebrate Thanksgiving this year.
The number of participating businesses is always heartening. Country Foods, Kenai and Soldotna Safeway, Sav-U-More and Three Bears grocers enabled residents to fill barrels or purchase food certificates for their neighbors and many times "rounded out" the menu with their own donations. The banks Alaska USA, First National Bank of Alaska, Key Bank and Wells Fargo collected food; and, in the case of First National, manager Jason Carroll headed a crew assembling the boxes prior to the holiday along with members of the Apostolic Assembly of Jesus Christ.
Employees at Wildwood Correctional Complex gathered food, and the Kenai Firefighters Association gathered food and held a fund-raiser, dedicating a portion to the Food Bank. Curves, Era Aviation and GCI Cable recognized customers' giving efforts by providing them with discounts. Coffee Time Espresso advertised the need for turkeys and the media Peninsula Clarion, KDLL and KSRM radio group made the public aware by airing our public service announcements.
The next generation of givers, the children of the peninsula, eagerly brought food from home and to their schools and preschools.
Personnel at the Food Bank are always astounded by the number of "anonymous" individuals and families who hand deliver turkeys each year. Additionally, we receive food from individuals and families who were once Food Bank recipients and have not forgotten the hollowness of holidays without food. Their joy at being able to help others is truly inspiring.
We take our 16-year mission of "No One Deserves to be Hungry" very seriously and are continually striving to reach any who are hungry, equitably distribute our warehouse food and efficiently expand donated dollars for the most impact on hunger on the Kenai Peninsula.
We count ourselves as extremely blessed by our community business partners and the individuals who year after year pause to take care of their less fortunate neighbors on the Kenai.
Again, thank you for your donations and we wish you, and our whole peninsula community, a blessed year in 2005.
Linda L. Swarner, executive director, Kenai Peninsula Food Bank
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