Anchorage Northside Church Expands Food Pantry
Because of its downtown location, the Anchorage Northside Church decided about six years ago to expand its food pantry to better serve the local community. With the assistance of Alaska Community Services, the church purchased a refrigerator and freezer and expanded into a large room in the church's fellowship area.
Though the pantry is open only two hours each week (one hour during Wednesday prayer meeting and another on Sabbath after church), Donna Hiratsuka, Northside's Community Services co-leader, says they serve 180 clients representing about 1,000 people each month. Sabbath can be especially busy, as many have discovered that Northside Church serves a visitors' luncheon after church services each Sabbath. Food pantry clients are invited to eat and fellowship with church members.
Several clients come early enough to attend church, and many have asked for Bibles and other church-related materials. They repeatedly say how thankful they are for the food pantry.
"It can be challenging finding sufficient supplies for the pantry," says Hiratsuka, "but we believe that we are planting the seeds that will ripen into God's harvest."