Food Bank offers opportunities, needs space

My turn

Posted: Sunday, February 25, 2001

The Southeast Alaska Food Bank was responsible for collecting and donating thousands of pound of food to member agencies and individuals in our community. Yet the food bank is an unknown. Some of this has to due with the fact that we are a newer part of the Southeast community, having been in existence for only four years. Now we would like to change that and become a more active part of Juneau and Southeast.

The Southeast Alaska Food Bank collects food from individuals and stores that then is distributed to member agencies. The member agencies provide food directly to families, youth, the mentally ill, victims of spousal abuse and the elderly. The Food Bank was put in place to allow for one collecting place and to save on administrative costs for our member agencies. Our 25-plus member agencies are freed of the task of collecting and storing food and can better utilize their time in attending to the needs of the community. This makes it a win-win situation for the community.

Thanks to Holland America Line, the Capitol City Republican Women, Carrs and Signpro for providing us with the vans (and their maintenance) we use to pick up and deliver food. Thanks to AEL&P, Phillips Petroleum and the Northwest Cruise Ship Association for our colorful inflatable caterpillar, which we use as a fund-raiser. Thanks to Super Bear, Safeway, Costco, Breeze-in, Fred Meyer, Family Grocer and Alaskan & Proud for donating food. Finally, our appreciation goes to the individuals of Juneau for their food drives and donations that keep us going and to St. Vincent de Paul, which has donated the space that the SEAFB uses for the last three years.

The Southeast Alaska Food Bank is always looking for volunteers, people who want to make a difference. Right now, we are looking for someone to be our food drive volunteer coordinator. This person would coordinate various food drives around the community. SEAFB also needs a volunteer coordinator. This person would help coordinate volunteers to pick food or to run the inflatable caterpillar. Serving on the Food Bank Board of Directors offers a great opportunity to showcase your leadership skills while making a difference in people's lives. Anyone interested on being on the board or volunteering can contact us at 789-6184. Parents looking for a unique way to celebrate a special event in your child's life may consider renting our giant inflatable caterpillar.

The Food Bank is faced with a predicament. We have to find a new place to use as the collection point. With the expansion of St. Vincent de Paul, the space we occupy will be needed. In order to meet the upcoming needs of the Food Bank, we are turning to the community. The Southeast Alaska Food Bank will be holding a Thanksgiving in March Benefit dinner and dance, which is being made possible with the help of the Juneau Elks Lodge. We will hold a raffle for a seven-day cruise donated by Holland America as well as a silent auction. To donate to the silent auction or to purchase your ticket for the dinner or your raffle ticket, please call us at 789-6184. The Thanksgiving in March Benefit Dinner is to remind us that though most of us can provide a bounty for our families, there are many who need a hand. By being a good neighbor, the Food Bank hopes to see that by next Thanksgiving no family in Juneau or Southeast will be forgotten.

Robin Phillips is president of the Southeast Alaska Food Bank.

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