The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Annette Shacklett
LOG Editor 

Gratitude, giving and feasting

The season is upon us


Seward has a tradition of giving and caring for one another. It goes on year round, but during the holidays we think more about it and shift into high gear with gratitude, giving and feasting.

With focus on these traditions, the He Will Provide Food Pantry sets out to ensure everyone can have a Thanksgiving feast. Many people donate and volunteer so the Pantry can provide the ingredients – a turkey, stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes, rolls and pumpkin pie – to anyone in need for the feast.

The local Rotary Club donated $3,000 dollars to create Thanksgiving and Christmas meal baskets. The Rotary formerly made meal baskets and distributed them. But in recent years they have worked with Pantry by donating money and time, and letting the Pantry volunteers to, “Do what they do best,” Rotary President Lori Draper told the LOG.

The turkeys come from the food bank in Anchorage.

On Tuesday from 3 to 6 p.m. those who have signed up for a Thanksgiving basket can pick one up at the Pantry, said Pantry volunteer Jackie Campbell. Usually the Pantry is open 3 to 6 p.m. on Thursdays, she said, but for the holiday they open early so everyone has the food in plenty of time to prepare the meal. With 100 baskets and about half of them signed up for at press time there will likely be enough for those who don’t sign up before hand. The Pantry is in the alley between Fifth and Sixth at Adams in the City Hall Annex.

Campbell went on to say that the Pantry works with the local Safeway store for the Pantry foodstuffs and essential goods. In addition, she said many groups hold canned food drives to add to the Pantry’s stores and the local ministerial association also works with the Pantry to ensure that no one goes hungry year round. Also, at Safeway one can purchase a pre-filled bag of food for $10 and the food goes right to the Pantry.

All donations and volunteers are welcome at the Pantry, Campbell said. “If anyone wants to volunteer, they can just come in. There’s no signup sheet or anything like that. We’ll have something for them to do within five minutes.”

The Pantry doesn’t have an application or approval process to receive food. “If someone is local and comes in and asks for food, we give it to them. It’s not our businesses to judge whether they need it or not,” said Campbell.

The Pantry serves about 90 patrons this time of year and more in the summer.

The American Legion will again feed many a Thanksgiving dinner next Thursday. The Legion serves dinner at the hall, and delivers a holiday meal to those who are working that day at service businesses or organizations (hospital, Alaska SeaLife Center, gas stations), and they deliver to those who are homebound and those enrolled in the Meals-On-Wheels program. Typically they deliver 50 to 70 meals on Thanksgiving.

A sit-down dinner is served at the Legion beginning at 2 p.m. and continues until the food is gone, about 4 p.m., club manager Mike Sullivan said.

Once the Thanksgiving holiday is over both the Panty and the Legion start getting ready to do it all again for Christmas.

Also for Thanksgiving both Thorn’s Showcase Lounge and the Yukon Bar will serve a meal. The meal at Thorn’s starts at 2 p.m. and the meal at the Yukon starts at 4 p.m.


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