Looking to donate to or access food services in Alaska? Click here.

Published: Apr. 24, 2020 at 11:27 AM AKDT
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Thousands of Alaskans are unemployed due to COVID-19, leading to an immediate need for food and monetary donations to local food programs according to Lutheran Social Services of Alaska (LSSA).

LSSA started seeing an increase in families accessing its food pantry in March, when state health mandates forced closures of businesses across Alaska in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. LSSA gave away 106,000 pounds of food to 1,764 households in March 2020, up from 60,000 pounds of food to 1,424 households in 2019.

"Many people are accessing this food network for the first time," LSSA Executive Director Alan Budahl said. "There really is a huge need."

The LSSA Food Pantry is taking new clients and delivering pre-packaged food boxes to individuals and families in need. In order to access these resources new clients should dial (907) 272-0643 ext. 10 to schedule an appointment.

The LSSA pantry is located at 1303 W. 33rd Ave. in Anchorage. Its hours of operation are as follows: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 1-4 p.m.; Wednesdays 4-7 p.m.; closed on Mondays.

LSSA is just one of several food pantries in Anchorage. Catholic Social Services’ (CSS) Executive Director Lisa Aquino says in March they saw a 50 percent increase in people accessing food services, the majority being new clients.

CSS' St. Francis Food Pantry is open to clients to pick up a prepackaged box of food according to Aquino. First-time shoppers will need to complete

upon arrival to the pantry.

The CSS pantry is located at 3710 East 20th Ave. in Anchorage. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of every month. The pantry is closed on Fridays.

CSS and LSSA are seeking food and monetary donations to serve those impacted by COVID-19. Click

to donate money to CSS, or call (907) 222-7300 to find out how to donate food. Click

to donate money to LSSA, or call (907) 272-0643 to find out how to donate food.

In order to help Alaskans on a statewide level United Way of Anchorage and the Alaska Community Foundation have started a COVID-19 response fund called “AK Can Do.” This resource allows Alaskans to choose where to donate their money, whether it’s to support non-profits like LSSA and CSS or other programs in your region.

As of Friday AK Can Do has raised over $1.4 million according to United Way of Anchorage. These proceeds will go toward helping Alaskans statewide who have been economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Click

to find out how to donate.

United Way of Anchorage has set up a call line to help Alaskans access critical community resources like LSSA and CSS. Dial 2-1-1, or call 1 (800) 478-2221 — the line is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.

Copyright KTUU 2020. All rights reserved.

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