“One of the first questions I have. . . I ask point blank, ‘Have you eaten?’” says Attorney Alicia Porter, speaking of her clients. She’s a state conflict attorney for parents in Anchorage and before that served in the state attorney’s office in Fairbanks.
“If they haven’t eaten, there’s no point in even doing anything.The discussions I have to have with them are big emotion discussions. I need them at their best, not when they’re having hunger pains. They’re not rational. Nothing against any of them, it’s just that they can’t think because they’re starving,” she explains.
That’s how Alicia came to start her own food pantry of sorts, carrying around a supply of Power Bars and juice boxes in her car, knowing she will be meeting clients dealing with hunger on an almost daily basis. Some are homeless, the others low income. Since her office is at least two bus rides away for most of her clients, many times she’ll meet them at one of the downtown Anchorage restaurants near the court house so she can buy them something to eat before heading to an important court date.
“Everybody’s got a wolf at their door at some level. It’s just recognizing that we’re all mortal and we all have our battles. I’m just fortunate and grateful to be able to share,” Alicia concludes.