Point of View: Many helped Anchor Point Food Pantry during pandemic

The Homer Foundation, Rasmuson, Homer’s 100 Women Who Care, the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank (KPFB), the Food Bank of Alaska, the Alaska Community Foundation, and the Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) are awesome for coming to the assistance of our rural food pantry during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been a life saver to its mission – providing a place for us to work from and the many supplies needed to keep up with increased demand made on our pantry due to the increased clientele. At the very start of the pandemic, Executive Directors Mike Miller of the Homer Foundation and Greg Meyer of the KPFP stepped in immediately to see if there was anything they could do to help – and there was plenty. They provided the food and supplies needed to help us keep our recipients fed with a hot meal and a bag of food. Because of the increased demand, our pantry had to move from its donated home of 9 years.

A local man, Dawson Slaughter, came to our rescue and allowed us to set up temporarily on his land. Cinda Martin, VP of the First National Bank, revealed our plight to 100 Women Who Care in Homer, and they extended their hand to get us the necessary supplies during our transition. Homeless and not sure what the winter would bring, Rasmuson Foundation granted us funds to build an emergency shelter. Then CITC and the Alaska Community Foundation supplied us with funds to put us in our current location until July of this year (34361 Old Sterling Highway, beside the ARI store). The Kenai Peninsula Borough has granted us an affordable lease to a piece of property on School Avenue. Two wonderful people – Marcus Mueller, the borough land manager, and Steve Theno, a retired engineer – assisted us in scoring this great asset. Although for now, we are still in transition and our buildings had to be moved once again. The Homer Foundation came to our rescue to move these buildings to a location that was donated by Anchor Point Ventures – the new owners of the Anchor River Inn. Aren’t they grand? The AP pantry believes that our entire local community is commendable: adults and youth – the original great asset and blessing to the pantry – who help us, and other nonprofits, with their time and their donations! Equally commendable are AP’s local businesses like Thurmond’s F.W. Auto, Building Specialties, Bay Realty, Coastal

Realty, and Hilcorp who take to heart local charities; alongside charitable groups like St. John’s Women’s Guild and Knights of Columbus, Homer Community Food Pantry, So. Peninsula Hospital, Share the Spirit, the Salvation Army, the VFWs, and more (one mind can only remember so much!). The donations of individuals and businesses, and the volunteers, will encourage funders to take part in our endeavors when they see that we nonprofits have the support of the local community. The AP Food Pantry thinks that the lower Kenai Peninsula is a very engaging and caring community. Thank you to all those who assist our pantry, and other nonprofits – all who help our neighbors. YOU ARE AWESOME! God bless you all!

Melissa Martin is the president of the Anchor Point Food Pantry.