One of Kodiak’s two food banks is ringing the alarm bell due to an unexpectedly high demand in recent weeks. Liz Tafoya, a Salvation Army soldier who oversees the food bank operation says there could be many factors driving the increased demand.
“We’ve been seeing a larger influx of people over the last three weeks to a month. And we’ve been of course been handing out more food because we never turn anyone away. It’s hard to be sure if it’s one factor or a number of factors. Kids are out of school for the summer, so there’s more demand for food at home as opposed to the programs the different schools provide. Also, too, a lot of demand we see is predicated upon when the fishing boats are in, or whether they’re out. Of course when they’re out, we have lower demand.”
Tafoya says the Salvation Army has lately been serving up to 168 families per week.
“Families ranging in size from eight persons and up, or five through eight people, or even single persons, because the public assistance funds really aren’t geared toward helping individuals. We want to make sure one- and two-person households are able to get the food that they need.”
She says the Salvation Army’s food bank is only capable of handing non-perishable foods at this time.
“We don’t have the facility to refrigerate anything like dairy or produce, or meat, frozen foods, unfortunately. Well, not right now – but maybe in the future. So anything canned. Vegetables, soups, beans, tuna, things like oatmeal, rice is very much needed, sugar, peanut butter. Pretty much anything that doesn’t fall into the perishables category.”
Tafoya says anyone who would like to make a donation can drop it by the Salvation Army Thrift Store after 10 a.m. weekdays. The Food Bank distributes grocery bags of goods to folks starting at 2 p.m. on Fridays.
Kodiak’s other food bank at the Baptist Mission, distributes on another day of the week, which TaFoya says works out well for Kodiak’s hungry, as one bag a week is often not enough.