The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank is photographed on March 26, 2020. (Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank is photographed on March 26, 2020. (Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Peninsula Food Bank reopens at 50% indoor capacity

The last time they were able to have indoor seating was Saint Patrick’s Day of 2020.

The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank celebrated its relaunch with a barbecue and a grand reopening of the indoor diner this week after nearly a year and a half operating under strict COVID-19 restrictions.

Greg Meyer, executive director of the food bank in Soldotna, said everyone who came by on Wednesday seemed excited about being able to gather again.

“It was definitely well received,” Meyer told the Clarion on Thursday.

He said the last time they were able to have indoor seating was Saint Patrick’s Day of 2020, and afterward the food bank administered to-go meals. Meyer said some people would eat in their cars or even outside during the winter months.

“At times we were serving four times as many meals as normal,” he said about the peak of the pandemic months.

Now, the dining room is open at 50% capacity.

“Everyone was so happy and I think they were pleased with the changes that we made,” Meyer said.

He and the team added more tables and chairs and renovated parts of the kitchen and dining room in an effort to both improve the quality of the space and allow for more social distancing. They also have increased their menu items so patrons have more dining options.

“I think everything rolled out well,” Meyer said.

The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank serves approximately 25,000 square miles on the Kenai Peninsula and supports 72 pantries.

Meyer said they have worked with their partners throughout the pandemic, as well as the Borough Office of Emergency Management to offer COVID-19 vaccine clinics on-site.

“The community has met every need that we had,” Meyer said.

Looking ahead, he said he’s unsure when they’ll be open at 100% indoor capacity. For now, they’re just working to comply with state and federal guidelines.

“We’re all in it together, muddling through,” Meyer said.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at camille.botello@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Alaska Senate President Peter Micciche, left, and Senate Minority Leader Tom Begich, right, meet with reporters in Micciche’s office in the early morning hours of Thursday, May 19, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska, after the Legislature ended its regular session. Micciche, a Republican, and Begich, a Democrat, discussed their working relationship, as well as well as parts of the session they were either pleased with or disappointed with. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
After House balks at bigger figure, budget OK’d with $3,200 payout per Alaskan

Budget finishes as second-largest in state history by one measure, but Dunleavy could make cuts

Loren Reese, principal at Kenai Alternative High School, gives Oliver Larrow the Mr. Fix It award Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at Kenai Alternative High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Alternative graduates 22, says goodbye to principal

The ceremony included special awards customized for students

Graduates throw their caps into the air at the end of Soldotna High School’s commencement ceremony on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘We never fell down’

Soldotna High School honors more than 100 graduates

Brandi Harbaugh gives a presentation during a joint work session on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Mill rate decrease, max school funding included in proposed borough budget

The final document is subject to approval by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly

The 2022 graduating class of River City Academy celebrates Tuesday, May 17, 2022, outside of Skyview Middle School just outside of Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
River City Academy says goodbye to 19 grads, 2 original staff members

Tuesday’s graduation was the last for two staff members who have been with the school since its beginning

Lawmakers from both bodies of the Alaska State Legislature mingle in the halls of the Alaska State Capitol on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, the last day of the legislative session, following the Senate’s passing of the state’s budget bill. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Senate agrees to budget, House has until midnight

With hours left in session, House members remain divided

Renewable IPP CEO Jenn Miller presents information about solar power during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly OKs new tax exemptions for independent power producers

The ordinance was brought forth in response to a proposed solar farm on the Kenai Peninsula

Kenai Central High School graduates throw caps at the end of their commencement ceremony on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
‘Make a great life’

Kenai Central High School graduates more than 75 students

A black bear gets into a bird feeder in April 2005 at Long Lake, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Alaska Department of Fish and Game)
Watch out for bears, moose

Take precautions to keep attractants away from bears and give moose and calves space

Most Read