Bean’s Cafe Celebrates 1 Million Meals
In response to COVID-19, organization has provided 1,000,000 meals in Anchorage since March 2020
Bean’s Cafe, a grass-roots organization that focuses on feeding the hungry and homeless, served its millionth meal. Meals have been distributed at emergency shelter sites, non-congregant shelter sites, and to hungry children and families throughout the city.
“In just over 16 months, we’ve served a million meals to the hungry and homeless in Anchorage. That is a huge milestone,” says Scott Lingle, Chief Operating Officer. “The pandemic changed everything, and we had to adapt and quickly change our model to best meet the needs of our community.”
Since 1979, Bean’s Cafe has been providing safe, warm shelter, meals, and connection to services. With the onset of Covid-19, Bean’s Cafe expanded and modified its emergency food response programs and shelter services. Serving homeless, at-risk adults in addition to hungry families and children, they have seen a huge increase in demand for services. Before the onset of COVID-19, Bean’s Cafe was producing 750 meals a day. That number has quadrupled with Bean’s Cafe producing an average of 3000 meals per day.
Like seafood processing, hospitality, and the oil industry, trucking has traditionally been an Alaska industry that depends heavily on out-of-state workers. According to the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development’s most recent report on nonresident workers, out-of-state drivers represented 18.5 percent of the workforce of 3,602 heavy and tractor-trailer drivers in 2016. That category of driver made an average quarterly wage of almost $14,000 that year. The nonresident count includes both seasonal workers and those who live elsewhere and regularly fly in for rotations.
Crum says that since 2016, oil and gas companies have flown in fewer commercial truck drivers from out of state. But he says the practice remains common in the seafood processing industry where companies frequently struggle to find qualified drivers at their remote plants.
According to Lisa Sauder, Chief Executive Officer, “The support of our community has been a true inspiration to all of us. So many businesses, individuals and partners have stepped forward to help us make sure no one goes hungry or unsheltered in Anchorage. This has truly been a community effort that shows how Alaskans come together in times of need.”
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