We have much to be grateful for as we reflect on the decade in which our company was born. We have weathered many challenges with the support of our community over the past eight years. Growing up on a homestead in bush Alaska where access to supplies and food were limited, we learned the importance of sharing resources with our neighbors. Our parents, teachers and coaches in our later hometown of Homer instilled in us the confidence to dream big and stay deeply rooted in the values that make our home what it is–a strong community, respect for the wild land around us, and the reciprocity necessary for both. Later, participating in a local philanthropic foundation’s youth advisory committee taught us that giving back to our community is powerful no matter what form it takes–through money, time, or attention.
During our first seasons running a business, local shops in Homer and Anchorage took a chance on our designs and taught us how to create packing slips and invoices for our first wholesale orders. Commercial fishermen wore our first hoodies with pride on and off the water, and people around Alaska shared our wild fish with their families and told their friends out of state where they could find delicious Alaska seafood and the story behind its sustainable harvest. Every day we’re navigating the challenges of running a small business and striving towards resiliency in an ever-changing landscape; we are especially grateful for the gifts our community has given us.
We designed our business to give back to this community who inspires us deeply, through our Give Fish Project. At least 1% of our company’s profit is set aside to give wild Alaska seafood to the Food Bank of Alaska each year. Since we began the Give Fish Project in 2016, we have donated over 148,830 cans of wild salmon, which have been distributed to communities large and small, across the state. This amounts to around 300,000 servings of wild salmon for hungry Alaskans! In 2020, we knew people needed good fish to eat more than ever and donated 13,000 cans of salmon to the Food Bank of Alaska. We also find creative ways to donate quality frozen fish from our Wild Fish Boxes to local food pantries.
Close to 1 in 7 people, and 1 in 5 children struggle with hunger in Alaska. Nearly 100,000 Alaskans can’t always be sure of their next meal. We are proud to play a part in tackling food insecurity by filling plates and nourishing communities with the ocean’s wild bounty, and we hope to inspire other businesses and individuals to find creative ways to address challenges in their own communities. Eating wild Alaska seafood makes us feel healthy and strong, and we want to share this good food with as many people as possible. What’s more, we are grateful that our state’s sustainably managed renewable resources is able to provide healthy food and healthy communities for countless generations.
GIVE TO YOUR COMMUNITY
There are many ways to give back to your community, and if you find yourself in a position to make a gift of your time, money, or resources–your efforts to end hunger and feed families will give struggling children, families and seniors a chance for a better future. The Food Bank of Alaska takes their responsibility to be the best stewards of the resources you entrust them with seriously and your gifts will be used wisely to further their mission of putting food on the table for children and families in Alaska.
Here are a few ways to give to to your community through the Food Bank of Alaska:
- Donate: Every $1 donated helps the food bank provide 3 meals to Alaskans statewide. You can set up a monthly sustaining donation to help feed families year-round.
- Give Food: Every can or box of garden vegetables is a gift for a meal for a child, senior or family who can’t count on three healthy meals a day. Check here for most needed food items. To research if the food in your cupboard is still safe to eat, visit The Good Marketing Institute’s FoodKeeper, which has an online database and mobile app. The Food Bank of Alaska accepts food past its expiration date, so donate it and trained volunteers will help sort it to make sure it is safe for distribution.
- Give Meat: The Food Bank of Alaska welcomes gifts of moose, caribou, deer, and sheep meat as well as salmon and halibut. Hunters who would like to donate should complete this form, deliver their meat to a commercial processor, and notify the Food Donation Coordinator (907-222-3115). The food bank pays for meat to be processed into packages easy for hungry families to use. Northern Air Cargo will transport meat to Anchorage from rural locations free of charge.
- Hold a food drive: Get your family, friends, coworkers and neighbors involved and help keep the Food Bank of Alaska’s shelves stocked with a variety of nutrition foods.
- See other easy ways to give here.
If you live outside of Alaska, you can find your local food bank through the Feeding America Directory and learn about the specific needs in your community. Covid-19 has presented us all with challenges, especially our most vulnerable neighbors. Your gifts, whether it’s time, food, or other resources–will be extremely appreciated no matter how it is given.
Thank you for helping us give fish
As we head into a new decade, a big thank you to Alaska and Alaskans for inspiring us, supporting us, and giving us the opportunity to tell the story of wild Alaska seafood and our coastal communities. A big thank you from our crew to yours for helping us give fish this year and making our donations possible; a rising tide floats all boats.
If you'd like to learn more about the Give Fish Project and how Salmon Sisters gives back, please contact Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org.