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Anchorage

Food Bank partners with businesses to help deliver food to Alaska seniors

Salmon Berry Tours guide Kristi Short delivers a box of food to John Tracy, 61, on Friday, March 27, 2020. The Food Bank of Alaska has been partnering with businesses to deliver some food to seniors who are unable to access their normal distribution sites because of restrictions put in place to slow the coronavirus pandemic. "I just lost my job," said Tracy, who used to work in the tourism business. "Anything helps now." (Loren Holmes / ADN)

John Tracy remembers the exact day he signed up for the Commodity Supplement Food Program, a federal program locally administered by the Food Bank of Alaska that provides low-income seniors with a box of food each month.

“I got back from the Philippines on February 26, and I signed up the next day,” said Tracy, who lives in East Anchorage. He anticipated needing help for just a few weeks before he started a job at Arctic Circle Enterprises, a tourism apparel and souvenir wholesaler.

“I worked about two weeks before they let me go,” he said.

Angela Young, 83, receives a box of food from the Food Bank of Alaska on Friday, March 27, 2020. (Loren Holmes / ADN)

Normally the monthly boxes of food are delivered to a centrally located site, and able-bodied seniors go there to pick them up. But with the concerns over transmission of COVID-19, especially among older people, the Food Bank of Alaska is trying something new: home delivery.

Salmon Berry Travel and Tours was one local business that answered a social-media call from the Food Bank and donated five vans and help from out-of-work tour guides. The company suspended their tours March 18 and wanted to give back to the community.

To find help or to volunteer, contact the Food Bank of Alaska or call 211.

Salmon Berry Tours guide Brendan Thompson, second from left, loads boxes of food into a van at the Food Bank of Alaska on Friday. (Loren Holmes / ADN)
A forklift moves boxes at the Food Bank of Alaska warehouse on Friday, March 27, 2020. The non-profit has been partnering with businesses to deliver some food to seniors who are unable to access their normal distribution sites because of restrictions put in place to slow the coronavirus pandemic. (Loren Holmes / ADN)
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