“It’s a chance for us to give back to those who may need, you know,” Jennifer Miller says, as she twirls a cellophane sandwich bag full of handmade peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. She finishes with a twist tie. “How good is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? The first United Methodist Church on ninth Avenue, is where Jennifer and other people volunteer to put together sandwiches once a month for The Brother Francis Shelter.
Since 1982, the local Brother Francis Shelter, a program of the local Catholic Social Services organization, on 3rd Ave., provides a place for people to stay, and also a meal, for people who are experiencing homelessness. According to Catholic Social Services, in 2018, it provided a place to stay and meals for 2, 600 men and women without a home. To help out, people here in Anchorage, gladly step up to take care of the need. and get good in return.
Janine Lulay, a volunteer at St. Francis House food pantry, thinks the food is filling a need but she sees more good. “Sometimes, I wonder if we are helping them, or they are giving an opportunity for us to give back.” The food pantry is another CSS program started in 1962, that provides food to local Anchorage residence Who are experiencing food insecurity. Once a month, clients who are in need of an emergency 2-3 day supply of food, can go in to their neatly arranged store and shop.
If your interested in volunteering to make sandwiches on the first Wednesday each month,you can contact the first United Methodist Church Monday through Friday 9 AM to 2 PM at 907–272-2112, or go to the website www.firstumcanchorage.org. To volunteer at the food pantry, their website is www.css.alaska.org and click on the Get Involved tab. If you’re also in need of their programs you will find information there as well.
Thanks to Frank Canha for filming portions.