With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the Fairbanks Community Food Bank is facing a donation deficit. The food shortage is due to issues in the supply chain, which have made many items scarce.
“We’re definitely behind the curve,” CEO Anne Weaver said. The community food bank typically serves about 2,000 to 2,500 families each Thanksgiving. Each family receives one turkey, canned yams and cranberries, and a frozen pie.
Weaver said they are about 1,000 items short of each food item, which is about 50% of what they typically have by now. They are shooting to have about 1,500 of each item by the end of the weekend, Weaver said Saturday.
Weaver emphasized that the deficit is not due to a lack of community support. Instead, the shortage is due to issues in the supply chain, which has left grocery store shelves barren. Additionally, because food is in short supply, the prices have increased, which makes it harder for people to buy extra food to donate.
The need for food is also increasing again in Fairbanks, Weaver said. The Fairbanks Community Food Bank also distributes supplies to other agencies, and she said that homeless agencies have been taking a large chunk of donations.
But now, with the higher cost of food, Weaver said that housed families are also starting to struggle more.
“We’re really wondering what [supply chain issues] are going to do to need,” Weaver said.
Despite these challenges, Weaver said that the community of Fairbanks is doing its best to offset the shortage.
“If you’re struggling, this community is determined to help,” she said. Fairbanksans have been pitching in what they can, such as homemade bread, according to Weaver.
Weaver said that they “cannot guarantee a normal Thanksgiving box,” they will, in some form, provide food for each of the households in need.
As to what people can do to help, Weaver said that those who have traditional Thanksgiving foods (such as the items mentioned above) should donate them if they can.