Meet Hank

Hank is one of the volunteers at the Downtown Soup Kitchen, but there was a time when Hank found himself on the other side of the counter. “I’ve been blessed by being able to come here when I needed the help,” said Hank. “Now, I’m able to help give back to the community and serve the people that are in the same situation as I once was.”

Hank only has to look back on his own past experiences to know what challenges other people are currently going through. “To see all of these people around town going hungry, these are the broken of the broken,” explained Hank. “These are people without many other choices or options. So, it’s a blessing to be able to give back, giving them hope, giving them love, understanding and kindness, the type of things that help people get through the day. Without it, people would probably find themselves getting into trouble and having no hope.”

It isn’t easy for someone to reach out for a helping hand, but during these difficult economic times, more and more people find themselves in a situation they never thought they’d be in – standing in line at the soup kitchen. “People have their dignity,” said Hank. “When you’re hopeless, homeless and suffering, the last thing you have is your dignity. It’s a blessing that Downtown Soup Kitchen is here, because it gives them a place to go to. Here, it’s kind of a central place for people to gather and they’re able to build a community to build some strength, some hope, some encouragement and understanding. Sometimes it takes just a little act of kindness to help turn someone’s life around.”

“Without Food Bank of Alaska distributing food to places like the Downtown Soup Kitchen and Bean’s Café, a lot of people would go hungry,” summarized Hank. “Without having a meal, how can you do anything? You have no hope. Food is a basic right that people take for granted. It’s like air. You need food to survive.”

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