Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion
Stephen Lamm and Lilly Murray film a culinary video for the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank’s healthy lifestyle eating promotional program Monday at the food bank diner just outside of Soldotna.

Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion Stephen Lamm and Lilly Murray film a culinary video for the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank’s healthy lifestyle eating promotional program Monday at the food bank diner just outside of Soldotna.

Food Bank aims to collect 1 ton of goods

The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank is preparing for its Progress Days donation drive Thursday. Volunteers are aiming to raise 1 ton of food in one day.

“That’s our big goal,” said Randi Smith, who works in donor development at the food bank. “The Soldotna Chamber invited us to be a part of the Progress Days celebration through this and we’re just really honored to be asked.”

This is the food bank’s first year of involvement with the Progress Days celebrations, which is a four-day festival commemorating Soldotna’s population boom after settlers discovered oil north of Sterling at Swanson River.

People are encouraged to bring nonperishable items to donate to the food bank. Or, if they’d rather donate financially, Smith said they’re equating $1 to 1 pound.

Volunteers will have trucks for donations as the food bank attempts to gain a literal ton of food.

“We’re going to have a huge presence,” Smith said. “We really want to raise a ton of food in one day, that would really be awesome. Just come out and show your support.”

The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank only just reopened indoor dining to 50% capacity last month, after a forced shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since it’s been closed, Smith said the layout of the building has been changed and renovated.

“We always want to give a shoutout to our community, because we wouldn’t be here without the community support,” Smith said.

In late August, the food bank is preparing for its annual soup supper fundraiser event. Smith said volunteers couldn’t host the event last year because of the pandemic.

“We’re going to be excited to get that going again too,” she said.

The food bank park event will be at Soldotna Creek Park on Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Progress Days entertainment includes performances by the Diamond Dance Project and Hobo Jim, as well as an educational seminar by a presenter from NASA.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at

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