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  • Sam Ouellette

One Local Organization is Feeding 2000 Visiting Games Athletes While Simultaneously Keeping Hungry Kids Fed Across Alaska

How the heck does the 2024 Arctic Winter Games host society feed all these hungry athletes? It takes a village to feed all those athletes and one local community non-profit answered the call providing the Arctic Winter Games villages with 200-600 sack lunches made daily using only the freshest ingredients. What’s more, Kids Kupboard is still serving their regular 400 to 500 meals to communities across the Matanuska Valley from Willow to Sutton and beyond to reach hungry kids across the last frontier. If you are following the math, that’s anywhere between 600 to 1100 fresh-made meals, they make to feed the community on a given day.

At the core of Kids Kupboard's success is its passionate and committed staff, working tirelessly to address the urgent needs of vulnerable children dealing with food insecurity. These individuals, driven by a shared mission, understand the profound impact that a nutritious meal can have on a child's physical and emotional well-being. After reaching out to Kids Kupboard I got the chance to talk with Chris Haugom the operations manager who shared how valuable this experience has been for him and for Kids Kupboard. Chris shared “this has been lots of fun and that it has been great to see the community come together for this event”. After talking with Chris it was evident that the staff and volunteers of Kids Kupboard are like a tight knit family. Chris gave credit to his team of eight to ten regular volunteers as well as staff who have helped make all these fresh meals possible each day. In a unique twist I would find out later that Chris was an Arctic Winter Games celebrity in his own right having won the golden ulu in the 1990 games in Yellowknife for indoor soccer. Talk about giving back to the athletes after all these years.

One of the core aspects of the 2024 Mat-Su Arctic Winter Games is community. Kids Kupboard’s valiant effort to continue feeding Alaskans while also providing fresh, nutritiously balanced meals for our visiting athletes and the wider community throughout this event is what the games showcase. Kids Kupboard operates on a fundamental belief in the strength of community. For this non-profit it is not just about filling stomachs; it's about building a network of care and support around children who need it the most as well as ending food insecurity for all Alaskan children.


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