Alaskan Man Makes Weekly 14-Hour Boat Trips to Costco to Keep His City Fed amid Pandemic

A man from Alaska is refusing to let his city go hungry amid the coronavirus pandemic — and he’s doing it one Costco trip at a time.

Since March, Gustavus resident Toshua Parker has been taking weekly boat trips to the Juneau Costco in order to restock on food and supplies for his small city, which is only accessible by boat or plane, according to CNN.

Parker — who owns Icy Strait Wholesale, the only place to buy groceries in Gustavus — uses a 96-foot long converted military landing craft to travel with his staff to the state’s capital 50 miles away, a journey that takes them 14 hours roundtrip, the outlet reported.

“It’s funny because for us, this doesn’t seem like a big deal,” Parker explained to CNN. “Alaskans are fiercely independent and resourceful; you really have to be to survive here.

Prior to the outbreak of the virus, Parker’s store had been receiving shipments from the local Costco via Alaska’s ferry system. However, the pandemic, along with severe storms that damaged the city’s dock, caused the ferry to stop operating, CNN reported.

This left the residents of Gustavus wondering how they would obtain food and other essentials to survive. Knowing there were no other options, Parker and his staff jumped into action.

Locals have been quick to credit Parker for his actions, but the small business owner told the outlet it’s his employees who are the real heroes, noting how they are “going to work every day during this pandemic to make sure our town stays supplied.”

Parker also said he is confident that whatever gets thrown their way, he and his staff will find a way to make it work.


Read more about this local hero’s story here!