Willow, Alaska has a high level of poverty with many houses without electricity or running water, limited jobs opportunities, and a fair amount of isolation. There are families without enough food. We house the only Food Pantry in the community; we partner with other churches and groups to collect food and recruit volunteers to work in the ministry. Currently, we serve an average of 150 families a month. We carry the responsibility of coordinating the Thanksgiving and Christmas assistance programs for our area. We are also responsible for managing three government food assistance programs. One of these programs is used in a book mobile program that takes lunches and books to families in an isolated area. Families need assistance with cutting and gathering firewood. We have them work with local volunteers and VIM teams. We also purchase small amounts of heating fuel and propane for families. Gas vouchers are often needed for families to make necessary trips to town (100 - 50 miles round trip, depending on where one lives in Willow). We help when emergency needs arise for plane tickets, medical expenses, home repair, and warm or school clothes.
Goals & Objectives
1. To provide food assistance to 160 families each month. 2. To formalize our structure and relationship with partner agencies and churches. 3. To provide firewood for at least 12 families, and other types of heating assitance to 35 families. 4. To provide 100 gas vouchers each year. 5. To work with Willow Elementary School to provide school supplies for children and to provide weekend food packages for children who eat breakfast and lunch for free at school.
1. Request donations of funds and items needed in the ministry, both locally, conference wide, and nationally. 2. Continue to be a member of the Food Pantry of Alaska and utilize their resources to meet the local needs. 3. Partner with Willow and Houston area organizations to provide leadership, funds, and volunteers. 4. Identify families who need assistance and provide information in the community so that families know we are offering assistance.