New director steps up at food bank

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Kodiak Baptist Mission’s food bank has a new director.

“I kinda of liken it to being a doctor. You’re kind of always on call.”

Joe Buhlig is relatively new to Kodiak and doesn’t imagine he’ll have much time for some of his favorite pastimes, like hiking and fishing.

Instead, he’ll spend a lot of time behind the wheel of the Kodiak Island Food Bank truck.

“If a store calls you and says they’ve got a donation, it’s kinda like I just drop everything, and I have to go pick it up. I’ll be in the middle of distributing food, and I’ll have to stop what I’m doing and leave it to my volunteers.”

Buhlig started off at the Kodiak Baptist Mission as a preschool aid. It’s a position he held for a few months between 2015 and 2016 before moving to Kansas.

He says while in Kansas, he worked as a garbage man and landscaper. He also remodeled houses, which is something he says his father has a background in.

His dad, a preacher, is also partially responsible for him coming to Kodiak. He says his dad had met a Kodiak Baptist Mission administrator at a conference in Kansas.

“He had invited over ‘em over for supper, and I was there. I’d just graduated college, and I studied nonprofit leadership in college.”

Buhlig says he fielded a job offer over the dinner table, which is how he ended up working at the preschool back in 2015.

He says he’s from Missouri, and it’s hard to be away, but he feels this is the place he’s supposed to be.

“I just have a passion for helping people. I’ve just been blessed with a lot of things in my life and a lot of people, and I want to give back to others to show gratitude.”

The Food Bank is working on some new projects. Buhlig says that includes a logo design and a system where they drop off take-home bags of food to students on weekends.

Edit 12/29: A former version of this article misspelled Joe Buhlig’s surname as Buelig.

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