$1574.00. That is the amount printed on the giant check a thankful Bishop Bobby Jones received on behalf of the Food Pantry at Harvest Christian Fellowship on August 15, 2017.
Cody Morey and Josh Zullo of Keller Williams Alaska Group were looking for ways to be involved with Bear Paw this year.
“We got to talking with the guys from Garcia’s, and they agreed to let us volunteer in their beer tent so we could donate our tips. They even agreed to match what we made.” Morey says.
She knew who she wanted to donate to from the start. The food pantry was there for her five years ago. She was able to keep food on the table when her family was in need. She didn’t even know they existed, and had to look around for help. She’s hoping that this donation is more than just financial support, but that it helps to bring attention to the food pantry as a resource for people in need.
Morey teamed up with Clark Saunders of Alyeska Title to work the tent. They spread the word via the Bear Paw Guide and told people when they paid where their tips were going.
“Once people knew we were donating our tips, they really stepped up,” Saunders said. They raised $787.00 in 12 hours, each dollar matched by Garcia’s Cantina.
Morey remembers the day, “Clark and I had a really good time, it was the best way to spend a day.”
17 cents per pound.
That is how much it costs for the food pantry to purchase food from the food bank in Anchorage when the local cupboards are bare.
Bishop Jones is a great spokesman for the pantry. His boots match his measured voice, which has a bit of a Texas twang, “We have to buy our food from the food bank in Anchorage. 17 cents a pound – if they have it. Many times they don’t have the corn or the cereal, and we have to go to Costco and buy it.”
When asked what the pantry needs he replies, “Corn, 25 pound bags of beans or rice – we break it down into one pound bags. We always need canned corn and cereal.”
After a few minutes of conversation, it’s clear that everyone in the room wants to continue to support the food pantry. Ron Laurin, an owner of Garcia’s offers, “We could put in a food pantry box, like Toys-for-Tots.” Morey refers to an upcoming raffle event where they will discuss the possibility of allowing tickets to be purchased with cans of food.
How much food is given to people when they visit the food pantry?
“Seven to eight days worth,” Jones says, “They receive at least three meats, as well as canned goods and dry staple items like rice, beans, cereal, and noodles. Sometimes dairy and fresh vegetables or fruits are available as well. They can come in every two weeks, and we can’t give them everything, but if we can give them a 60 or 70 dollar value, that’s a great help.”
Bishop Jones extends an offer, “Stop by and just walk through it [the food pantry]. Just come by and see how it’s well run. If you need our services, all you have to do is walk in with an address in the local area, and a Denali Kid card for the kids. We don’t give anyone any hassle. We don’t care if you come in driving a BMW, you may have just lost your job, we don’t know. We extend all the love, all the courtesy to everyone who comes in.”
As he leaves, Jones shakes hands with everyone and says, “This is a great blessing, thank you very much, this will go a long way. God bless you, and thank you for this.”
The food pantry, located at 17108 Hanson Drive in Eagle River, is open Tuesday – Thursday: 10 am – 2 pm and Saturday 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Kaleigh Wotring is the Managing Editor of the ECHO News, an active parent of a student in the Optional Program at Eagle River Elementary School, and the President of the PTO at Gruening Middle School, she is constantly looking for ways to connect members of our community, particularly our students and veterans. To reach Kaleigh, email: email@example.com.