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Fairbanks Community Food Bank celebrates nearly 40 years of service

Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 4:21 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks Community Food Bank (FCFB) has been in operation for nearly 40 years, and still continues to this day to help provide food to those less fortunate.

The Fairbanks Community Food Bank was started in 1982 by a handful of individuals. Anne Weaver, CEO of the FCFB explained, “One of my favorite stories to tell is how simply the Food Bank came together. Right now we’re in the midst of some weird world pandemic and shut downs and lockdowns, and our beginning story happened in a time kind of like this. In 1982 there was a recession, there were folks that were needing food, and there were folks that could see that there was a problem and wanted to find a solution - and it only took a couple people coming together to figure out how to collect local surplus food and give it back out to people in need.”

The Fairbanks Community Food Bank has been at its current location since 1998 when Dennis and Mary Wise built the facility to be a dedicated food bank.

The location has been immensely helpful to the operation of the FCFB. Weaver commented, “When COVID hit, we were already ready for an emergency situation, and this building has been such an incredible blessing because without the set up of collecting local surplus food, without the facility to be able to maneuver the food in... we haven’t had the long lines that you’ve seen in the lower-48 because six days a week, 52 weeks out of the year, we’re already providing daily food to folks. Thanks to this facility, our wonderful volunteers, our donors that are always there already collecting surplus food...it’s really an amazing story of victory, especially in a time of turmoil.”

Weaver explained that the Fairbanks Community Food Bank has worked in tandem with the community to continue to assist those in need for nearly 40 years. “What has the Food Bank done to impact the community? Giving everybody an outlet to work together. When COVID hit, that’s fresh in our minds, we were a place people could come and volunteer their time and do something when everybody felt hopeless - and that’s such a blessing to be able to be an organization that can encourage that in a community. What has the community done for the Food Bank? We cannot do this without the community. If we don’t have volunteers, if we don’t have donated food and donated money, we’re done. For 39 years we have done the impossible because this community said that it’s possible here”, said Weaver.

FCFB has shown in its several decades of operation how a community can come together to lift up those going through hard times.

“One of the things that’s so amazing to me is that this food bank was started by a couple of people with a really good idea of what they could do, and they knew that they weren’t able to solve hunger, but they could invite other people to join them and everybody did a little bit. One of my favorite stories is a story of somebody who received a granola bar, and that one granola bar kind of changed the direction that they were on - simply because somebody cared enough to see that they had a problem and reached out. We can’t change the world as individuals, but we can all come together as a community, Fairbanks Community Food Bank. We can come together as a community and really make hard times a lot better,” commented Weaver.

The Fairbanks Community Food Bank will be hosting its 30th annual Empty Bowls event on April 3rd. More information can be found on their website and Facebook page.

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