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Alaska has plenty of laws and regulations to deal with mine development.

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Letty Eileen Cole, 93, died on Oct. 15, 2014, in Ketchikan.
Susan Marie Mallott Patrick, 58, died Oct. 11, 2014, in Ketchikan.
9/9/2013
Curbing hunger

With all of the worries out there, the most basic is hunger — even in Ketchikan.

But the community responds to it well, which should be noted.

Seven days a week in Ketchikan, it is possible to get a meal because of the local churches.

Some churches give through Love in Action (formerly Love in the Name of Christ or Love Inc.) and others handle the need to help the hungry directly. Love in Action was organized and is representative of the church community here. Church leaders serve on LIA's board of directors.

Lisa Scarborough of LIA says that the organization that she oversees serves between 15 and 25 households monthly when it comes to food assistance. Each household may call on LIA for help no more frequently than once every four months; its service is designed to get households through a rough period, such as a job loss of a family breadwinner.

LIA provides boxes of food that include both perishable and non-perishable items. Depending on the size of a family, this helping-hand can last a week or longer. LIA has volunteer church members who deliver the boxes.

The Salvation Army operates its soup kitchen Monday through Friday. At lunchtime, meals are provided, and those meals are served by the Army and/or community volunteers.

On Saturday, Ketchikan's day shelter offers bagged or boxed lunches to help out, and on Sunday, several churches, on a rotating basis, cook an afternoon meal at St. John's Episcopal Church for the hungry, according to Scarborough.

Others churches have food pantries that they share with members in need. It's unlikely they would refuse assistance to anyone, however, and, of course, they can refer to Love in Action or one of the other food services. One church, the Presbyterian, distributes food weekly on Fridays.

It isn't only the churches, but local clubs, such as Rotary 2000, that collect food. Rotary's food is donated specifically to Schoenbar Middle School to ensure no students start classes without some type of breakfast; too many students go to school with growling stomachs, and that's not likely to encourage good study habits in the classroom or out.

When called upon, when supplies are low, as they are for Love in Action this month, the community, the churches, the clubs, and individuals and businesses in the community come through to help. This often happens during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, but at other times of the year, too.

It's likely others are helping out, too, but silently — individuals or businesses which see a need and meet it there and then.

Ketchikan is this type of community, always willing to help out the less fortunate who later on might be the helpers when fortunes are improved or reversed.

In Ketchikan, no one has to go hungry. Because of that, and for many other reasons, there's one less thing to worry about.