Time to thank all who lend a hand to feed the hungry

It is amazing how quickly fall slides into the end of the year. And what a year we’ve had. We want to mention as many contributors as possible. 

In September, the Alaska USA Federal Credit Union members and staff teamed up with the Alaska USA Foundation to conduct the “Cash for Cans” fundraiser. The Alaska USA Foundation supports local Community Food Pantry’s and we were blessed with their generous $2,000 contribution. 

To support our mission to feed the hungry, at their annual meeting of the Homer Foundation, we received one of three People’s Choice Awards of $250.  These monies enabled us to do just a little extra for our friends during the holidays. 

At the end of November, Safeway started their annual “Hunger Is” program, where for a month, community members have the opportunity to give a $10 bag filled with canned and dry goods to the Food Pantry for distribution.  It is such a blessing that our generous community purchased more than 630 bags for Christmas sharing.

From Nov. 20 to Dec. 20, Essential 1 matched .05 cents for every gallon of fuel that the community purchased for the third year in a row. This is the second fundraiser they’ve held for the Food Pantry this year. In July, they matched .25 cents for every gallon purchased too. Their gifts are gigantic in helping us to help others.

Hoo Dee Hoo! This is a first ever for the Food Pantry: On Dec. 4, the UAA Homer Student Nurses, Alpha Delta Nu Chapter, hosted a buffet-style fundraising dinner of local moose and salmon burgers prepared by Chef Harrison McHenry. Thank you, nurses, for thinking of us. We were so excited to have this first ever dinner fundraiser for us.  

This past year we have had so many individuals and groups that have supported the Food Pantry that it is difficult to list them all, but here are just a few: 

• Homer Theatre – food drive during the movie, “Hunger Games”;

• Brownie Troop 258 – food drive;

• McNeil Canyon School – food drive;

• Homer High Pottery Class – created bowls for our Empty Bowls Luncheon;

• Homer High Culinary Class – fresh, homemade bread;

• Wells Fargo employees – volunteer weekly;

• USCGC Hickory – Haunted Hickory; and 

• Bob Durr – allowed pantry volunteers to glean his fields of fresh vegetables.

How can we adequately thank the all individuals, groups and organizations? We try with our Facebook page, “Homer Food Pantry” — check us out — and a somewhat feeble attempt when individuals come in personally.  Please know that you are all so very much appreciated and we love that you think of us. 

It is amazing what happens when we work together and our community is fantastic at that. 

Together Everyone Achieves More — we’re a TEAM, Homer. Thank you.

Diana Jeska is the president and Donna Wells is the secretary of the Homer Community Food Pantry.