Who’s hungry in Alaska?

Volunteers set up for a Mobile Food Pantry in Anchorage.
Volunteers set up for a Mobile Food Pantry in Anchorage. (Photo courtesy Food Bank of Alaska)

I had a new baby and my husband couldn’t work…During that year I can remember the neighboring farms were harvesting onions, and they hadn’t fixed the road in front of our house, and the onion trucks would hit that pothole and leave us onions. I can remember going out there the very first time that happened and just weeping, because I was gonna have something to put in my soup that was flavorful.

That’s the story of a young Alaska mother without enough food. One in seven Alaskans, and one in five children, routinely go hungry. Those statistics come from the Food Bank of Alaska, the agency that since 1979 has been collecting and distributing food to nonprofit partners statewide.

Listen now:

Here are a few more facts:

  • In 2013, FBA made almost 90 food pickups every week.
  • In an average week, 100,000 pounds of food leave the FBA warehouse.
  • In 2013, FBA distributed 775,684 pounds of food to 19,260 families in seven Anchorage neighborhoods through its Mobile Food Pantry network. Receiving the food? 48 percent are children; 13 percent are seniors.
  • In 2013, 1,969 volunteers donated 17,601 hours of their time.
  • Alaskans gave $70,049 to FBA through Pick.Click.Give. in 2013.

We’ll learn more about the unmet and increasing food and nutrition needs of Alaskans, and the systems in place trying to bridge that gap, when Hometown Alaska hosts professionals working on food insecurity problems. Issues that often surface include tough choices the hungry must make:

  • Spend limited income on medication, or food?
  • Heat your home, or eat?
  • Buy cheaper and filling but less nutritious food, or fresh produce.

FBA also participated in a large national study released this August that puts food security into a national perspective. Find a link to the study below.

Do you use food pantries? Do you volunteer at a food pantry? Do you wonder what you can donate to the FBA?

Share your stories with us, and learn who is hungry in Alaska.


  • Mike Miller, executive director, Food Bank of Alaska
  • Stacy Stone, director of operations, New Hope on the Last Frontier
  • Ray Booker, Jazz Fighting Hunger



  • United Way Day of Service food drive, Sept. 12
  • Hunger Action Month, September
  • Faces of Hunger, First Friday event, Oct. 3, The Boardroon
  • Jazz Fighting Hunger, Nov. 9


  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752  (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send email to hometown@alaskapublic.org before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air)

LIVE BROADCAST: Wednesday, August 27, 2014. 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Alaska time)

REPEAT BROADCAST: Wednesday, August 27, 2014. 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. (Alaska time)

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