June 10, 2020: As a result of a community grant made by ConocoPhillips, The Salvation Army was able to provide the Southwestern Alaska community of Bethel with 14,000 pounds of food. The food was distributed to over 200 residents of Bethel as part of The Salvation Army’s Service Extension program. “This food was a wonderful gift to people at just the right time in our community,” said Michelle Dewitt, Bethel Community Foundation Executive Director.
In locations where The Salvation Army does not have a physical presence, a service unit helps address community needs with the support of local volunteers. In Bethel, The Salvation Army helps address food insecurity, providing vouchers to the local grocery stores and a weekend backpack feeding program for school children. The program works with other organizations to identify those in Bethel and neighboring communities most in need of assistance.
“Although The Salvation Army may not be able to maintain a Corps in every community, we are happy to be able to provide the support we can to those in need through community partnerships,” said Major John Brackenbury, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army in Alaska. “We would not have been able to provide to the families and children in need in the community of Bethel without the generosity of supporters like ConocoPhillips.”
At Gladys Jung Elementary, backpacks with easy to prepare food are available for the weekend every Friday for kids who may have gone without otherwise. “We at the school, are so thankful, for the huge contribution The Salvation Army is making,” said Jackie Kjelka, who coordinates the backpack program. “I am so humbled and thankful for all your hard work of shopping and shipping for these kids.”
“As we all work through this difficult time, it’s important that we help each other. As a business with deep roots in the state, we are very concerned about the ability of Alaskans to make it through this trying period. We were pleased to be able to support The Salvation Army’s purchase of food for Bethel families,” said Joe Marushack, president of ConocoPhillips Alaska. “We applaud The Salvation Army and their services that assist so many Alaskans and communities throughout our state.”