The Kenai Peninsula Food Bank takes donations of split firewood that they store in a small locked woodshed. This wood is given to community members who are in need. Examples of the needs are; heating their home, cooking, and sanitation of water for cooking, drinking & cleaning. Wood must be stored in a locked shed due to any wood left on site that is not locked being stolen in the past.
Per the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank's Executive Director Greg Meyer, approximately 100 households, with a minimum of 5 households per week, have received wood this winter. In addition, many of the 100 households have come multiple times.
If the food bank had extra storage space, they can ensure the fire wood is drying and ready to burn when it is needed. They also believe they would serve 25 to 50 more households every winter.
There is scientific evidence that low temperatures can be hazardous for your health, such as a home temperature that is too cold can lead to respiratory illnesses risks. In addition, our elders and youth have a tough time regulating their body temperatures, and a warm home is essential to them. When a home is too cold, it can lead to dampness resulting in mold. Mold can also lead to respiratory illnesses risks.
Many homes on the Kenai Peninsula are equipped with many different wood stoves. Some wood stoves can be used just for heating, while others can be an entire oven and stovetop used for heating, cooking, and water sanitation. In addition, some Alaskans do not have running water. Due to this, they need a way to heat and sanitize the water they collect or haul.
Wood stoves can be essential for homes with more than one heat source when winter storms cause power outages. Firewood can keep the house warm and could give the household the ability to boil water.
This grant will help our club double the amount of split and stacked wood space that can be locked up and housed for the food bank to hand out to individuals and families in need.
Wood Shed Materials ~ $5,200.00
Chain Saw With Protective Case ~ $600.00
Wood Splitter ~ $1,200.00
Asking District 5010 for $3,500.00 and our club will match $3,500.00
The food bank often gets offers for logs of wood to be dropped off. However, they currently cannot take these donations due to them not having a chain saw and a wood splitter. The Executive Director has stated they are entirely dependent on their volunteers to cut and split the wood for the households that do not have the ability to do this themselves. If they had a chain saw and wood splitter on the premise, they could accept these large wood donations and have trained volunteers to cut, split, and stack the wood.
Our club believes this project will take at least 3-4 full 8 hour days to complete all the parts of this project. Our club has already talked to our local hardware store and once funds are avaible we will begin the project as soon as possible to be sure to complete before the winter arrives.
Rotary Member Engagement:
Our club will have at least 5 - 10 club members but will encourage all of our club members to help build, cut, split, and stake the wood in the woodsheds.
To date we have 3 club members that have put a collective of approximately 8 hours of volunteer time; speaking with the food bank, pricing out materials, and researching other aspects of this project.
After this project is complete we have club members committed to supplying the food bank with wood to help keep them full throughout the winter.