TOTE Partners with Kids Kupboard to Deliver Food Donations

February 27, 2022

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WASILLA, Alaska (KTUU) - Kids Kupboard, a program in Wasilla that feeds children all over the state, received a generous donation of non-perishable food on Thursday.

The organization’s founder and executive director Lynette Ortolano put out the call for help on Facebook and received a favorable answer. The effort resulted in TOTE Maritime providing transportation of 26 pallets from Utah to the Port of Alaska. From there, United Transport took over and delivered the food by semi-truck to the organization’s location in Wasilla.

“She was asking for donations and I thought, ‘I want to write a grant to see if we can obtain some more funding to help some of the shortages right now’ and so that’s how it started,” Mandy Quimby, a volunteer with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, said. “I asked for some money donation and my area person that I work with had this great idea, let’s put together some other community partners, ourselves providing food and TOTE providing the transportation and bringing the food up directly from the Lower 48 and being able to provide more food commodities than we could provide locally than with a cash grant.”

According to the Kids Kupboard website, 42% of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough student population counts on free food programs from the schools and organizations like Kids Kupboard, which distributes food from 17 locations across the Mat-Su. Ortolano said that she couldn’t be happier with the donation.

“We’re reaching currently about 2,200 children, children who qualify for free and reduced lunch so consequently or obviously that tells us that they’re coming from households who are struggling and so we’re there to provide a nutritional foundation so that they learn and grow to the best of their ability,” Ortolano said.

She estimates the delivery will sustain the organization’s programs for about a year.

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