By Melinda Munson
Skagway’s food bank was better funded this year than any previous year with a $125,000 grant from the municipality and record-breaking donations from companies and individuals. Still, Skagway faith leaders worry the increased funding might not be enough to get needy Skagwegians through to the much anticipated 2021 tourist season.
Pastor Ryan Mendeville from Skagway First Presbyterian Church is board president of the Community Care Committee, a collection of various church representatives who run the food bank.
“At the current rate of disbursement, our account will run dry the last week of March or first week of April … Many are forecasting that demand will go up once the emergency assistance funding disappears that has helped Skagway keep steady this year. So my timeline is probably optimistic,” he said.
The Skagway food bank is not a physical location, rather it’s a bank account which church leaders use to give credit at local stores.
See the article below. https://skagwaynews.com/2020/05/22/we-dont-want-anyone-to-be-hungry-skagway-food-bank-prepared-due-to-generous-donations/
While the food bank credit ($150 for individuals, $200 for families) used to be redeemable only at Fairway Market, they can now also be used for toiletries and groceries at Grizzlies General and Skagway Radio Shack, Klondike General Store and You Say Tomato.
Pamela Mckown, a 13-year resident, returned to Skagway in February after visiting family in Nebraska. Ready to work the season, she was financially overwhelmed when the tourists and cruise ships never materialized due to the pandemic. Her unemployment benefits ran out in July.
“When a friend and coworker reached out mentioning the food bank, I of course, as many, don’t like to ask for help,” Mckown said.
The community helped her feel comfortable enough to contact one of Skagway’s food bank facilitators.
“I am very thankful … I am very fortunate,” Mckown said.
Mckown’s willingness to ask for help is exactly what Mendeville is hoping for. He posts periodically on Facebook, reminding people there is no need to go hungry.
Donations to the food bank can be mailed to P.O. Box 200, Skagway, AK, 99840 or paid online at http://www.easytithe.com/fpcskagway. Select the food bank option.
Food Bank Facilitators