Food Bank of Alaska helps neighbors feed neighbors

Food banks are frequently confused with food pantries. Unlike pantries, most food banks do not provide food directly to the public. Food Bank of Alaska is a warehouse, distribution center, and office space where donated food is inventoried and distributed to local pantries and soup kitchens. We serve over 150 community partners as well as 3 affiliate food banks: Kenai Peninsula Food Bank, Fairbanks Community Food Bank, and Southeast Alaska Food Bank.

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. SFSP provides free, nutritious meals at approved meal distribution sites in areas with significant concentrations of low-income children. Each year Food Bank of Alaska sponsors several meal distribution sites in our rural communities. 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.

Meals to You Alaska (MTYA)

The Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED), in partnership with Food Bank of Alaska, have created a demonstration project, Meals to You Alaska (MTYA), to reduce food insecurity in rural Alaska during the summer months. Eligible children in rural Alaskan communities will receive meals through an alternative delivery method, such as through the US Postal Service. Meal boxes will include up to ten breakfasts and ten lunches that meet the rigorous meal pattern and nutrition standards of the SFSP.

The Emergency Food Assistance 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. 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. The State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Public Assistance, Family Nutrition Programs, are 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 approved farmer’s markets and roadside sites.

Food Rescue 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 (MFP)

When the Food Bank of Alaska receives perishable food donations such as fruits and vegetables, our MFPs distribute this fresh food to families in need while it is still fresh. 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.

Weekend Backpack Program (WBP)

Most school children are provided breakfast and lunch at school each day. However, many students suffer from food insecurity, lacking sufficient funds to provide them with food when school is not in session. We provide child-friendly, nutritious food directly to children in need over the weekends and holiday breaks.