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 child in the family is receiving two supper meals and two snack meals (children do not need to be present) . Each family is also receiving two pantry boxes which provide a shelf-stable meal for a family of four. The pantry boxes contain a breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Individuals can arrive in person, or drive through and grab and-go their pantry boxes. Each family receives two (2) boxes while supplies last. One for the day of distribution and one for the following day.

Locations and times are as follows:

  • Lighthouse Fellowship, Mon, Wed, Fri, 3–3:45 p.m
  • Loussac Place, Mon, Wed, Fri, 3–3:45 pm
  • Spenard Rec Center, Mon, Wed, Fri, 3–3:45 pm
  • Fairview Rec Center, Mon, Wed, Fri, 4–4:45 pm- Back of building
  • *Mt. View Boys and Girls Club, Mon-Fri, 4:30-5:30 pm

*Pantry packs only- no prepared meals

Food donations and assembled boxes for our program can be dropped off at Bean’s Cafe 1101 E. 3rd Avenue every day of the week 9am – 4pm

Want to help assemble pantry packs in person? We have shifts available at Tikahtnu Commons Sam’s Club warehouse and need your help!

To sign up, please register on the Volunteer Matrix.   https://beanscafe.volunteermatrix.com/?reg

If you have already registered on the Matrix previously, please follow this link to sign up for your shift: https://beanscafe.volunteermatrix.com/thechildrenslunchbox

Technical issues? Specific questions? Please email lmerritt@beanscafe.org

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. 

Donate Today!

If you would like to donate food for the pantry boxes, the list of food is here. 

For details/instruction for assembling pantry boxes from home please see our instructions or  email info@beanscafe.org 

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 their 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.

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