New Hope on the Last Frontier
New Hope is faith-based organization that provides life skills classes/recovery services, as well as food distribution to over 350 families in need each week. UAA students working with New Hope carry out a variety of tasks that benefit the individual and families neighbors who seek assistance from New Hope's food pantry. UAA student activities include: helping with set up and breakdown of a comfortable seating area for recipients, serving refreshments while engaging with recipients, helping register recipients and serving as a personal shopper for local neighbors of New Hope's clothing and food services. UAA students also help restock the food pantry and organize clothing donations as needed.
Kids' Kitchen is a nonprofit organization based in Anchorage, AK dedicated to providing nutritional meals for children at no cost. With over a million meals served with love since 1996,Kids' Kitchen is starting to see the first children they served grow into young, dynamic adults.Love works for our community, our nation, and our world. With help from volunteers and donations, Elgin Jones started serving meals for children at the center. The majority of these children come from low-income families who have breakfast and lunch programs available at school. Each weeknight, 75 youngsters sit down for a healthy meal like hamburger with sides of broccoli and apples, cooked by Jones, who lives off Social Security and takes no salary from his nonprofit Kids' Kitchen.Kids Kitchen utilizes UAA students to assist with meal planning, food inventory, as well as planning and facilitating after school activities on-site at the Fairview Recreation Center. This includes but not limited to playing games, reading stories, and doing an art/craft project as well as talking to the youth about how to get good grades, the importance of school and what college is like.
Food Bank/Food Stamp Assistance Partnership
This project began in 2007 between UAA's Social Work professor and the Food Bank of Alaska to create an experience for students in SWK 243 that would bring to life the ideas related to diversity, oppression, and privilege that are discussed in class and to contribute to community needs at the same time. Food Bank staff provides an overview of hunger and the state and national emergency food systems each semester. Approximately 20 students each semester work 20 hours split between a shift at the Food Bank and various soup kitchens and food pantries. The students provide labor for the Food Bank of Alaska and other organizations and they learn about hunger issues, including the patterns of who is hungry and what kinds of circumstances and social structures lead people to need emergency food assistance. Food Stamp components have been added to the course: Food Stamp Outreach, in which students are trained to offer information to families who might qualify for this program, and the Food Stamp Challenge, wherein students (and sometimes faculty and staff) are encouraged to eat only what they could afford and bought only where they could shop if they were on Food Stamps.