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.
Pantry boxes provide a breakfast, lunch or dinner meal for a family of four, are given out in multiples to feed entire families, and no questions asked. These 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, 3240 Penland Pkwy #1- Thursdays 2 - 4pm
- Trailside Heights Apartment Homes, 2773 Trailside Loop Friday only 3:00 to 3:30 pm. Cold meals and pantry boxes.
Food donations and assembled pantry boxes for our program can be dropped off at Bean’s Cafe Administration office Monday - Friday 9am – 4pm. Please note- we recommend accessing our building off 5th Avenue to access the loading/donation door adjacent to Lucky Wishbone and directly across the alley from Van's Dive Bar. There is a doorbell and you may phone 907.433.8601.
Schools we are currently providing pantry boxes to, for distribution to enrolled students are:
- Mountain View Elementary
- Ptarmigan Elementary
- Muldoon Elementary
- Williwaw Elementary
- Wonder Park
- Alaska Native Cultural Charter School
- If you attend Tyson Elementary, 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. They are also accessible here. These are our current need, along with funds to purchase further items as needed from week to week. For the next several months our storage space is limited and we cannot accept anything required freezing or refrigeration.
You can donate monetarily direct from our website and designate which program you are donating funds for.
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.
This year 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.
Stepping Up to Help Families
You helped us raise $500K before — and now we need your help again! Not only for pantry packs but fresh meals … and our soon-to-be-announced mobile food distribution program!
As many folks were (and are) ‘hunkered down’ with their families, many parents are consumed with worry about how to feed their children. With school not completely in session and a record increase in unemployment, the need to feed hungry kids (and 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.
Thank you to the organizations that stepped up in Phase I of our campaign: ConocoPhillips Alaska, Alaska Club, Matson, Wells Fargo, Saltchuk, Enstar, Anchorage Sand and Gravel, CITC, CIRI, NANA, and Ice Services.
Thank you to our generous cash sponsors who have already helped us feed kids and families in Phase II
A special thank you to the Anchorage Press.
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.