A Philadelphia native is the new manager at the Southeast Alaska Food Bank.
Chris Schapp, a former service member with the U.S. Navy and warehouse manager, took the helm of the growing operation earlier this month. Darren Adams, the previous manager who worked at the nonprofit for 14 years, moved to be with family in Wasilla.
“I like to try and give back and help out where I can,” Schapp said in an interview Tuesday. “This kind of combines making a living and doing that at the same time.”
As the lone employee of the food bank, Schapp will oversee the yearly donation and distribution of around 500,000 pounds of food. Schapp’s duties include coordinating food drives and food pick-ups from grocery stores, as well as stocking and organizing the center’s shelves and freezers. The food bank began with processing about 50,000 pounds of food in the early 1990s, according to its website.
Schapp has spent over 10 years in the capital city, initially going to work for Alaskan Brewing Co. before moving on to retail endeavors such as the Salvation Army Family Store. Schapp said the downtown thrift store, which he managed for the last two and a half years, functions very similarly to the food bank, making his transition from one to the other “almost seamless.”
“I had a lot of volunteers who helped me down at the Salvation Army and I have a lot of great volunteers who help out here as well,” Schapp said. “So it’s being in charge of a lot of volunteers — not necessarily staff — but volunteers to make sure they’re helping in the best way possible.”
Schapp said one of the challenges of the new job will be staying in touch with different agencies.
“Beating the path, knocking on doors, trying to find as much help as we can,” he said.
The board interviewed four candidates for the job, SEAFB President Dave Lefebvre said, before hiring Schapp on Oct. 1. Schapp’s professional experience in warehouse management, customer service and logistics made him a good fit for the position, Lefebvre said.
“A lot of what we do is customer service to our member agencies, make sure they get help when they come into the store, help with their groceries out to the car,” Lefebvre said.
The food bank underwent a substantial expansion three years ago to accommodate its growing services. The operation continues to supply more and more food to move than 30 nonprofit agencies and members of the public, distributing over 500,000 pounds of goods in the last fiscal year.
To learn more about the food bank, visit sealaskafoodbank.org or call 789-6184.
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