Fairbanks law enforcement agencies begin Thanksgiving food drive competition

Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 4:09 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Law enforcement agencies across the Fairbanks North Star Borough have begun their Thanksgiving food drives.

According to Anne Weaver, CEO of the Fairbanks Community Food Bank, the annual competition has a big impact on the food bank’s Thanksgiving efforts.

“They’re going to be taking cash donations and food donations,” Weaver explained. “There’s the FPD (Fairbanks Police Department) Costco weekend before Thanksgiving food drive that’ll be happening, and it’s all about bringing food to the Fairbanks Community Food Bank that we can then distribute out. So if you want to support both your local law enforcement - and that means the UAF (University of Alaska Fairbanks), the airport, Eielson and Fort Wainwright, FPD of course, Alaska State Troopers... and all the groups are coming together just in the good fun of competing with each other to see who can bring in the most food and funds for the Fairbanks Community Food Bank. I love this drive!”

Agencies like the Alaska State Troopers have a close relationship with the food bank according to Capt. Eric Spitzer.

“We have a really close relationship with the Fairbanks Food Bank, I think more so than anywhere else in the state,” Spitzer said. “Our rural units, when time permits, we’re taking food boxes out to some of these rural communities and providing them to elders and people in need that are suffering, [or] maybe came across tough times. The king salmon fishery was hit hard this year on the Yukon river, or if moose hunting wasn’t successful, we’re just helping folks out.”

And despite the fun rivalry, the ultimate goal is to provide for those in need.

Spitzer commented, “Although it’s a competition, we’re just looking at the greater good. The greater goal is just that we’re all working together to try and solve the problem, or at least alleviate some of the problem - and I mean, nobody should be hungry. Nobody should go to bed at night hungry.”

The bar is set high, as last year was a record setting amount of food and money donated to the foodbank.

“Last year, the APOA (Alaska Peace Officers Association) drive broke all food bank records and brought in about 66,000 pounds and dollars,” Weaver recalled. “That is beyond amazing, the biggest food drive in the history of the food bank. I don’t know if we’re going to get there this year, but every single can helps and every food thing helps. So this is a fun big drive. We also have a drive happening at Fred Meyer - so lots of ways to support the Fairbanks Community Food Bank.”

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