Fairbanks non-profit Bread Line Inc seeks community’s help in feeding those in need

Stone Soup is a soup kitchen run by Fairbanks non-profit, The Bread Line.
Stone Soup is a soup kitchen run by Fairbanks non-profit, The Bread Line.(KTVF)
Published: Jan. 20, 2021 at 4:13 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - As more people in the Fairbanks community find themselves in need of a hand-up, Bread Line Inc. is serving more meals than ever.

Due to the economic impact many have suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are facing food insecurity and rely on assistance to get by. Organizations like Bread Line Inc. help provide hot meals to those in need, but have seen a large spike in the number of meals they have given out.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen a steep increase in the amount of people we’ve served. Just to lay that out, in 2020 we served 48,882 meals. That’s a hot entrée and a sack lunch combined together. But in 2019, which was at the time a record breaking year, we served 31,156 meals - so we have served 17,000 meals more this year than we have in the previous year,” said Hannah Hill, Executive Director for Bread Line Inc.

Hill went on to say that those most affected by the pandemic are often those already marginalized and in need of assistance. “First and foremost, anytime there’s something like this, a large-scale trauma to a community, the people that are already the most marginalized are the ones who are hurt first and the ones who are hurt deepest. So the people we serve already live in this way of being vulnerable, being oppressed by economic means - and so to have something on top of that like a pandemic, yeah they’re absolutely the first ones who suffer because of that.”

Bread Line Inc is now seeking for more donations of food to help meet the increased demand of those in need.

“I just want to note that the Fairbanks community has been phenomenal in supporting the work that we do here. Most of the food that we serve every day comes from community donations and we just need some more help continuing doing this work because the need is still there,” said Hill.

Bread Line Inc accepts most food, but there are some staples that are always needed. Hill explained, “We don’t say ‘no’ to much I’ll tell you, we use just about anything. We hire professional chefs to actually do the work here so they have the skill sets to take whatever it is we receive and turn it into really good food. But what we need just all of the time and forever is lunch meat - any type, sliced cheese - any type, and ‘hand fruits’. We like to call them hand fruits, like small oranges, anything not too crunchy because that can be hard for a lot of folks to actually eat, so oranges are great on that. Any kind of shelf stable snack - it could be chips, it could be nuts, it could be granola bars, anything like that. Just think what you would like to have in a really good sack lunch, that’s what we’re looking for.”

Bread Line Inc accepts donations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more questions about Bread Line Inc and how to help, visit their website or call their number at (907) 452-1974.

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