Feeding Hungry Families
It began when schools closed as a result of COVID-19, but even now The Children’s Lunchbox is distributing or partnering with other agencies to distribute pantry boxes to food-insecure children and families.
Each pantry boxes provides a breakfast, lunch or dinner meal for a family of four and are given out in multiples to feed entire families. The below distribution sites are open to anyone, no questions asked.
Locations and times are as follows:
- Lighthouse Fellowship, Mon, Wed, Fri, 3–3:45 p.m
- Loussac Place (NOT Loussac Library), Mon, Wed, Fri, 3–4:15 pm
- Spenard Rec Center, Mon, Wed, Fri, 3–3:45 pm
- Fairview Rec Center, Mon, Wed, Fri, 4–4:45 pm- Back of building
- Penland Park, Thursdays 2:30 - 4pm
Food donations for our program can be dropped off at Bean’s Cafe Administration office Monday - Friday 8am – 4pm. There is a doorbell, and you may phone 907.433.8601.
The schools and special programs we currently provide pantry boxes to, for distribution to enrolled students are:
- Mountain View Elementary
- Muldoon Elementary
- Williwaw Elementary
- Northstar Elementary
- Tyson Elementary
- Lake Otis Elementary
- Klatt Elementary
- Northwood Elementary
- Benny Benson Secondary
- Chester Valley Elementary
- Mountain View Boys and Girls Club
- CITC & CITC Schoolyard
- Ridgeline Terrace
- Hmoob Cultural Center
- Safe Harbor
- Power Youth Center
- If you attend Tudor Elementary or Creekside Elementary, speak to the school directly about how to obtain pantry boxes in the future.
**If you are interested in assembling pantry packs at home, please message firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide detailed instructions for you. The list of meal/food ideas are available here though we do encourage creativity. As long as each serving will feed a family of four, we welcome your meal ideas.
Along with the funds to purchase food, items for pantry packs (especially breakfast) are our most urgent need.
You can donate monetarily direct from our secure website and designate The Children's Lunchbox.
Our Tax ID number is 92-0072522
In other news- A huge thank you to our Anchorage community and local Safeway stores. Because of the Safeway Albertsons Nourishing Neighbors community relief campaign and fund, they help us make sure every child possible gets a healthy breakfast every single day!
This national campaign happens on a local level each fall and enables customers to donate money to help provide healthy breakfasts for children in Anchorage. This also takes place in in Washington State, Northern Idaho and Alaska.
In 2022 The Children’s Lunchbox received $39,000 to specifically provide breakfast meals and items to the children and families. For more information about Safeway and Albertsons Cos.’ commitment to hunger relief, please visit: http://national.albertsonscompaniesfoundation.org/program/local-campaign/
Safeway Albertsons and Carrs Safeway is a part of Albertsons Companies, which is committed to helping people across the country live better lives by making a meaningful difference, neighborhood by neighborhood. In 2019 alone, along with the Albertsons Companies Foundation, the company gave $225 million in food and financial support. In 2020, the company made a $53 million commitment to community hunger relief efforts and a $5 million commitment to organizations supporting social justice. These efforts have helped millions of people in the areas of hunger relief, education, cancer research and treatment, social justice, and programs for people with disabilities and veterans’ outreach.
Many parents are consumed with worry about how to feed their children. And the need to feed entire families continues to grow. We know many of our families are already on the edge or barely making it.
Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap estimates that in 2020 32% more Alaskans needed food assistance than before – that’s 125,650 people, including 47,800 children (an increase of 44%). This brings our estimated food insecurity rate in Alaska to 17% overall or 1 in 6. For Alaska’s children, the estimated food insecurity rate is now just over 26%, more than 1 in 4.
The Children’s Lunchbox stepped up in March 2020 to make sure no child went hungry in Anchorage and we’re still hard at work. We have distribution sites for prepared meals for kids (dinners and a snack) as well as pantry pack boxes. The pantry pack boxes provide a shelf-stable meal for a family of four.
Your $10 can feed a family of four for an entire meal.
The Children’s Lunchbox History
In 1998 Kid’s Cafe, a non-profit organization feeding at-risk children in the Anchorage area was in search of a stable, responsible board of directors. Bean’s Cafe immediately realized that its mission of feeding the hungry should extend to the children of our community. Bean’s Cafe board members realized that many of the poorest children in our community are at risk of not having their daily nutritional needs met. While hunger affects people of all ages, it is particularly devastating for children. Even short-term episodes of hunger can cause lasting damage to a child’s development, putting children at risk for a range of cognitive, behavioral, emotional, and physical problems. When children receive the nutrition they need, they are more likely to move out of poverty as adults. This sparked a vision of “prevention” and Kids Cafe became a program of Bean’s Cafe.
In 2004, Bean’s Cafe renamed Kid’s Cafe to The Children’s Lunchbox as what started as a few hundred meals a month being delivered to a few programs quickly turned into a few hundred meals a day.
The addition of summer food programs as well as weekend food and pantry programs has only strengthened our work to assure no child is hungry. In 2019, The Children’s Lunchbox provided more than 300,000 meals to hungry children in Anchorage.
New sites and programs are added regularly as we work to feed every hungry child in our community. Our newest addition is the school food pantry/pantry box.