Food Bank of Alaska helps neighbors feed neighbors
Sometimes people think that Food Bank of Alaska is a pantry that feeds hungry people directly. We are not. Instead, our programs make it possible for our 150+ partner food pantries and soup kitchens all over Alaska to feed their hungry neighbors.
Donated Food Program
Food Bank of Alaska is a busy warehouse, deploying a fleet of trucks to recover surplus food that would otherwise
be disposed of by food industry partners – grocery stores, wholesalers, producers, farmers, and the fishing business. We also collect food donated by community members, and we purchase food in bulk. We then redistribute this food to pantries and meal programs – about 40 partner agencies in the greater Anchorage and Mat-Su service area – who make it available to children, families, and seniors in their neighborhoods.
Mobile Food Pantry
When Food Bank of Alaska receives donated perishable food such as fruits and vegetables, that have a short shelf life. Our Mobile Food Pantry distributes this fresh food to families in need while it’s still good. Families especially appreciate having the healthy produce and dairy products that they often can’t afford at the store. Food Bank of Alaska works with ten sponsoring agencies that conduct Mobile Food Pantries at nine convenient locations around Anchorage. In FY21 we have distributed 1,740,791 pounds of food through our Mobile Food Pantries. This is a 358,510-pound (26%) increase over FY20.
Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)
SFSP is a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child Nutrition Program (CNP) established to ensure that low-income children, ages 18 and younger, continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. Most recent figures show that approximately 36,000 Alaskan children are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. SFSP in Alaska is administered by the State of Alaska Department of Education & Early Development. SFSP provides free, nutritious meals at approved meal distribution sites in areas with significant concentrations of low-income children. Meal distribution sites are provided by schools, private non-profits and local or tribal governments. Each year Food Bank of Alaska sponsors many meals distribution sites in our rural communities. Total number of meals served in our rural communities for the summer of 2020 was 57,129. As the sponsor, Food Bank of Alaska fulfills administrative requirements such as training, paperwork, recordkeeping, site monitoring, meal ordering and shipping, allowing the sites to focus on feeding children in need within their communities. An average meal consists of one milk, two fruits or vegetables, one grain, and one meat or meat alternative.
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)
In FFY 21 Food Bank of Alaska helped 56 partners, 44 of them in rural Alaska, feed their hungry neighbors through USDA’s federal program TEFAP. TEFAP is a commodity program administered through the State of Alaska Department of Education & Early Development. To support farmers and other producers, the U.S. government buys up surplus food. For example, the government recently purchased surplus Alaska salmon. Instead of throwing this food away, USDA distributes it to states for schools, soup kitchens, and food pantries. The State of Alaska contracts with Food Bank of Alaska to distribute TEFAP commodities to food pantries across the state. The TEFAP distribution in Alaska is based on the proportion of low-income residents and persons on unemployment.
Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)
– Senior Boxes
CSFP is a USDA program designed to supplement the nutritional needs of seniors 60 years of age or older and who qualify for the program. Food Bank of Alaska coordinates distribution of monthly CSFP boxes to eligible clients through a network of partner agencies. Contents of the boxes follow -USDA guidelines consisting of grains, proteins, milk, cheese, fruits, and vegetables. In FY21, Food Bank of Alaska distributed over 25,000 boxes with the help of our partner agencies. The State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Assistance, Family Nutrition Programs, is responsible for administering CSFP.
Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program
The Alaska Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (June 1st – October 31st) provides coupons to low-income seniors that can be exchanged for fresh Alaska-grown fruits, vegetables, fresh-cut herbs and honey at farmer’s markets, approved farms and roadside sides.