FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Fairbanks Community Food Bank (FCFB) has adjusted its operations amid increased demand and social distancing guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The food bank is currently seeing a demand of more than 10,000 meals a week. (Alex Bengel/KTVF)
“We’ve had to change how people pack the food boxes, so that we can keep that social distancing, but it’s been a real success so far,” Anne Weaver, CEO of the food bank, said. She also noted that volunteers and staff are taking increased time away from the building if they display even non-COVID-19 related symptoms of sickness.
Although the food bank experienced a lessening of food donations at first, Weaver said that amount is rising. "It was really difficult at first with Food-In because as the grocery stores were cleaned out and it took a while to get shipments back in, that really hit our own donations. Food In is starting to come back to a more stable source and so we're able to continue staying ahead of the curve, so to speak, whereas at first it was pretty scary,” she said.
The FCFB provides food to individuals and entities around town, including the Fairbanks Rescue Mission, the Warming Center, and Bread Line, Inc.
Weaver has seen an increased demand for services with the pandemic. “On a really busy week prior to COVID, we’d provide somewhere between five thousand to seven thousand meals a week. On a slow week during COVID, it’s more like ten thousand-plus meals a week,” she said.
Although the current staff and volunteers have been able to meet the increased demand, Weaver said volunteers are always needed.
“We’ve added a couple new distribution sites, a couple new locations, so that we can be as spread out as possible and still provide the food to those who are struggling,” she said.
According to Weaver, the food bank is using homemade face masks so as to leave proper gear for the medical industry.
“This community is, in all the right, careful ways, making a point of supporting each other through this,” she said.
For services or to volunteer, the food bank can be reached at 907-457-4273.
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