The annual APOA food drive sets a new record for the Fairbanks Community Food Bank

The Fairbanks Community Food Bank received one of their largest donations to date.
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 8:38 AM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Law enforcement officers from the Fairbanks Police Department, North Pole Police Department, Alaska Airport Police and Fire, Eielson Air Force Base Security Forces, and the Alaska State Troopers all participated in this year’s Alaska Peace Officer Association (APOA) Law Enforcement Food Drive.

“It is our honor to be able to work with our local law enforcement, it truly, truly is,” said Anne Weaver, CEO, of The Fairbanks Community Food Bank. “This year is tremendous. Our record food drive a couple of years ago, 20-plus years ago was 55,000. You guys blew it out of the water with 64,000 [last year, 2021]. This year the official total of the APOA Food Drive is 96,953.”

Each department was neck and neck this year in which department took in the most food in pounds. Weaver read the amount in pounds that the top three departments raised during an award ceremony at the Fairbanks Community Food Bank on Monday.

For the second year in a row, the Alaska State Troopers “took the cake,” (figuratively of course) by winning the APOA Award and collecting donations totaling 37,556 pounds.

Alaska State Troopers win APOA food donation title 2-years in a row
Alaska State Troopers win APOA food donation title 2-years in a row(Julie Swisher)

“I don’t want to say that it is easy, but it kind of makes it easy when people are thoughtful and thinking about all of the other people in the community,” said Captain Eric Spitzer, Commander for the Alaska State Troopers “D” Detachment. “So it is my pleasure to accept this. Thank you very much and look forward to doing it again next year.”

Donations are already being boxed up just ahead of the busy holiday season. Some of the boxes of food donations will be sent out to neighboring villages, and others will be donated locally.

Weaver said these boxes change people’s life. Law enforcement officers utilize the food bank throughout the year and bring boxes to those in the community who need them the most.

“We do what is called law enforcement boxes,” said Weaver. Law enforcement agencies and officers can call the food bank, and they give them boxes of food for families or individuals with no questions asked.

“You say there are this many people in the household, I need this many boxes. If there is an infant or something, let us know,” said Weaver. “With 30 minutes to an hour, depending on what time of the day you are calling, you will have a food box made for you that you [officers] can come and pick up.”

All the law enforcement agencies were thrilled at the amount of generosity the Fairbanks and surrounding communities gave to make this year the biggest and best year to date.

North Pole Police Chief Steve Dutra Shakes hands with Lieutenant Jess Carson of The Alaska...
North Pole Police Chief Steve Dutra Shakes hands with Lieutenant Jess Carson of The Alaska State Troopers(Julie Swisher)

“Every can, every bottle, every case of food helped,” said Spitzer. “I just want to thank all those who are out there and thank all of the officers, the different departments, and the community of Fairbanks that pitched in to make this happen.”

Spitzer said he doesn’t know anywhere in the state where a community can pull something like this off. “The community pulling together in an event like this, it’s inspiring.”