At the Armed Services YMCA of Alaska we believe that no military family should ever have to go hungry—and no family should have to choose between feeding their children and paying their bills. We know that freedom from worry about where your next meal is going to come from helps families maintain their independence and sense of security, providing a stable home environment.
Our food pantry is where military members and their families can come get food in times of need—with no questions asked. Many times, military families who move to Alaska are unprepared for the harsh cold of winter and the increased cost of living. Many families find themselves needing to buy costly items such as school supplies, and cold weather gear. This can be especially difficult during the relocation process because pay is often times delayed or issued incorrectly. When a military family finds themselves with too much month as the end of the money, they can be sure that our Food Pantry will be there to fill the gap.
Take the story of Brenda. Brenda is an Army wife, whose husband was deployed. By random chance, she wandered into our Welcome Center in the Warrior Zone. She saw our snack basket and asked could she take one of the granola bars. Brenda was shaking when she grabbed the granola bar—and dripped it to the floor. She apologized, telling our Welcome Center Specialist that she hadn’t eaten in a couple of days. Brenda explained that her husband was deployed, but his pay got messed up (which happens frequently). As a result of the mix-up, she and her teenage son didn’t have food in the house. She made a comment that she was okay not eating, but didn’t want her son to go hungry. The Welcome Center Specialist wasted no time in telling Brenda about our Food Pantry. At the Food Pantry, Brenda was able to pick up what was needed to ensure adequate nutrition for both her son, and herself. A couple of months later, Brenda returned to the Food Pantry with her son. Her husband’s pay had been corrected, and she wanted to give back to the Food Pantry what she had taken, a small gift to help other military families like hers.
The ASYMCA understands that families go through financial difficulties and that Alaska’s cost of living as well as the harsh environment aids in the financial burden of military families who are stationed up here. This is why we are so pleased to be able to offer such an important service. The Food Pantry is visited by an average of 25 families per month, with an increase during back to school time and holidays. All of these families were given the means to ensure adequate nutrition, thus protecting the health of their families during a time of financial crisis.
Be Involved with the Alaska Armed Services YMCA
The Armed Services Y provides free or low-cost youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility programs for junior enlisted military & their families to make military life easier.
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