During the holiday season, many people in the Eagle River-Chugiak area give back to their community.
Not only is it the traditional time for considering your own blessings and giving a step up to those who may not have as much or may be temporarily struggling, but opportunities to give abound. Donations – it may seem – are collected on every street corner, at every business and during each credit card swipe.
This seems to be a good system – collecting donations while everyone is in such a giving mood. The Chugiak-Eagle River Food Pantry in particular certainly benefits from the holiday rush, but their stock begins to taper off by the time March rolls around. That holiday surge can only last so long.
That problem has not been overlooked by Greg Culbert. Dr. Culbert, who is the owner of Northern Chiropractic, had been hosting a holiday food drive through his office for nearly 20 years, but he grew concerned that holiday giving was not doing enough to support families in the community throughout the year.
Eight years ago Dr. Culbert decided to start hosting a second food drive during the month of March. Since then, Northern Chiropractic has collected thousands of pounds of food. In 2017 alone, Dr. Culbert collected 840 pounds of food for the Chugiak-Eagle River Food Pantry.
The food drive returns to Northern Chiropractic this month.
Dr. Culbert hopes to collect 500 pounds this year at each of his food drives for a total of 1000 pounds for 2018. He is always pleased with the community involvement during his food drives. He sees current patients, past patients and non-patients alike arriving at his office to contribute to the drive.
“It’s because of the people of Eagle River that we’re in practice,” says Dr. Culbert.
And that is exactly who he wants to give back to.
Office Manager Julia Jette is also involved with the regular drives. “It feels good to contribute to the community,” she says.
If you would like to drop donations off at Northern Chiropractic, Dr. Culbert has some suggestions.
Doing a pantry clean-out at your own home and bringing the unopened packages is a good idea because that will typically yield a wide range of food types. The food pantry asks that you keep an eye on expiration dates as well.
Specific items to look for are canned tomatoes, stews and fruits. Juices and cold items like milk and meats are also accepted.
Additionally, the Food Pantry is often in need of other goods, such as new socks, toothbrushes and other hygiene items.
Northern Chiropractic will be collecting goods for the entire month of March.
Sara Kennedy is a special education teacher in the Anchorage School District. She likes to swim, bike and run around Alaska, and camp and fish with her family.