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Alaska Beat

Fighting hunger, from Alaska to Oregon

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published September 24, 2012

Susannah Morgan, executive director of Food Bank of Alaska, has fought against hunger in creative ways while in Alaska. Now, Morgan will be leaving the state to function as the Oregon Food Bank's CEO, Oregon Live reports.

Morgan has worked at the Food Bank of Alaska since 2001. She pioneered a road-kill program that is a win-win: Moose hit by Alaska Railroad trains are now collected from the tracks, butchered at a nearby prison, and sent to the Food Bank of Alaska, where the recovered meat "flies off our shelves," Morgan told Oregon Live.

"I believe in looking under every stone," she said. "I believe in mutual self-interest."

In Oregon, 5.9 percent of residents suffered from "very low food security" last year, while the poverty rate skyrocketed to 17.5 percent -- up nearly 5 percent from the prior year. Morgan knows the challenges she faces. "Hunger is ultimately a poverty question," she told Oregon Live.

In the "Director's Diary", Morgan writes of Alaska Food Bank's successes:

"I joined [Food Band of Alaska] in 2001. At that time, Food Bank of Alaska was a small nonprofit organization…[that] served mostly Anchorage agencies with few partners in rural Alaska…FBA now runs three USDA commodity programs and serves meals through two child nutrition programs. We advocate for federal and state legislation that will help reduce hunger. Our donated-food program has grown in size and complexity and is connected to food banks across the nation. We have a sophisticated and growing purchased food program. We have expanded our collaborations throughout the state and now serve more than 300 partners in 90 communities."

Morgan has also served on nationwide committees dealing with food security, and she led a team that re-created the Las Vegas food bank.

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