Fairbanks Native Association program provides food boxes to families in need

Published: Feb. 12, 2021 at 4:07 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks Native Association (FNA) Head Start program has been providing food boxes to families in need. The program services pregnant women, as well as children up to the age of five with educational services.

Since March, the program has had to adjust its operations. Katrina Nunemann, Early Childhood Development Director for FNA Head Start told us, “When the pandemic started back in March, we immediately had to go under remote services, and we serve the most at risk families in the community. So we really had to kind of look at how we can best serve them and meet their needs, and so we shifted from doing home visiting and center-based services to right away putting together a food box. At the beginning of March there was a rush on the stores for groceries and stuff. We knew the most at risk families were going to struggle, and so every two weeks since March, we’ve provided a food box to those families who are enrolled in the program.”

The boxes provide food and learning materials for families who request them.

“We do biweekly surveys, and only those families who request food boxes, we prepare a food box for them. We are also giving out learning kits in addition to the food boxes for infants and toddlers. They get paper, markers, crayons, stacking blocks, things like that. So we are able to provide the families with learning kits so that we can guide activities in the home, and then food and snacks that help them with nutrition,” said Nunemann.

The Head Start program is only offered to registered families, and also helps families outside of food and education when possible.

“In addition to providing food boxes, we also are able to provide diapers and wipes- and we survey, like I said, families every two weeks. So in addition to the food boxes and learning kits, families had needs to be able to weatherize their homes, so we provided window weatherization kits back in November. Hunting families had interest in locks for their guns, so we partnered with Tanana Chief Conference and were able to provide those. So in addition to the food boxes, we are trying to meet the needs of families on a day to day basis,” said Nunemann.

Those interested in the FNA Head Start program can learn more at their website.

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