Wrangell succeeds in filling holiday food boxes


November 24, 2021 | View PDF

Unlike Fairbanks and the Kenai Peninsula which struggled to complete their traditional holiday food box menus — partially due to nationwide supply chain shortcomings — Wrangell’s organizers report 50 Thanksgiving boxes went out fully stuffed.

The Salvation Army, which coordinates the holiday campaign for the Wrangell Ministerial Association, placed its Thanksgiving order in October with City Market and IGA to ensure everything would arrive on time.

They turned in their Christmas food order on Nov. 1, and are still taking inventory of what has come in and is still expected to arrive. “Christmas, we might run into a bit of an issue,” Lt. Jon Tollerud, of the Salvation Army, said last week.

And while this week’s Thanksgiving food boxes featured a turkey, the Christmas menu starts with a ham, he said.

In addition, the Christmas box will include additional food for at least a couple of extra weeks, as the Salvation Army food pantry closes the first two weeks of January, Tollerud said.

The deadline to sign up for a Christmas food box is Dec. 3. Deliveries are planned for Dec. 17. Call the Salvation Army at 907-874-3753.

Just two weeks before Thanksgiving, the Fairbanks Food Bank reported it was short 1,700 turkeys, plus canned yams, cranberry sauce and frozen pies.

By last Friday, just six days before Thanksgiving, the food bank reported it had cut its turkey shortage in half, and then 17,000 pounds of donated food came in the next day, moving the organization closer to its goal.

The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank reported no shortages of turkeys. Instead, it was short of gravy mix, instant potatoes, stuffing, canned yams, canned cranberries and canned pumpkin.

“We just keep encountering these strange things," Greg Meyer, the food bank director, said of supply uncertainties. ”We finally got sugar. Sugar, flour and rice were really hard for about two months. And egg noodles was another one that was really hard to get,” he told public radio station KDLL.


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