Food Security in Alaska

Exploring food security in the state

It is no secret that Alaska is isolated from the Lower 48 and heavily dependent on food imports. In fact, 95% of the food consumed in Alaska is trucked, shipped, or flown in, resulting in $2 billion spent on food imports each year. That’s money being sent out of state for food products that are days, and sometimes weeks, old before landing on Alaskan dinner tables. Alaskans rely on transportation to have food readily available. Yet, if a disaster or emergency were to strike, cutting off imports, it is estimated that the state would have a mere three to five day food supply. In addition to this, one out of every seven Alaskans struggles with hunger while over one hundred billion pounds of food is wasted each year in the United States. While we are reliant on food imports, Alaskans are also dependent on subsistence lifestyles and living off of the land. Food security impacts every Alaskan, yet many know little about the subject.



Join the Senate Resources committee for an informational hearing on Food Security in Alaska. Learn about food production, subsistence livelihoods, the vulnerability of the current food system, hunger in the state, and the economic potential for Alaska to start producing more of its own food.

Senate Resources Informational Hearing

Friday, April 1st, 4-5:30pm

120 4th Street

Juneau, AK

Alaska State Capitol Building - Butrovich 205

Presenters

Bryce Wrigley

Bryce Wrigley is Alaska Farm Bureau President and District Manager for the Soil and Water Conservation District in Delta Junction. He recently became a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation board of directors. He has farmed all his life, moving to Delta Junction, Alaska in 1983. He raises barley, wheat, and straw and is active in efforts to increase food security in Alaska and develop new markets for local agriculture, including food and fuel. He and his family began the Alaska Flour Company to provide locally grown barley-based products for Alaskans as a way of increasing food independence in Alaska.

Sarra Khlifi

Sarra Khlifi fell in love with Alaska when she moved to Anchorage in 2013 to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA for the Alaska Food Policy Council. A recent graduate of the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, she focused her studies on global health issues and international agricultural development. Sarra cultivated her passions for food security through her work at community gardens, co-managing the Summer Food Service Program at FOOD for Lane County, and serving as the marketing intern with Sprout! Food Hub in Oregon. In her current role at the Alaska Food Coalition, Sarra delves into food system issues in Alaska and forges strong connections around the state she now calls home. She is passionate about food security for all Alaskans, and building connections between the anti-hunger community and local grown advocates. When she’s not in the office, she enjoys getting her hands dirty in a garden, cooking, and exploring the vast natural playground of Alaska in any way she can.

Lauren Sill

Lauren Sill is a Subsistence Resource Specialist III with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game Division of Subsistence, based in Douglas, Alaska. She works in communities throughout Southeast Alaska conducting qualitative and quantitative research into residents’ harvest and use of wild resources. The Division of Subsistence has been investigating the role of wild food harvests in the lives of Alaskans since 1978.

Ken Meter

Ken Meter is one of the most experienced food system analysts in the U.S., integrating market analysis, business development, systems thinking, and social concerns. Meter holds 43 years of experience in inner-city and rural community capacity building. His “Finding Food in Farm Country” studies have promoted local food networks in 107 regions in 37 states and one Canadian province. Meter consults with the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service to help create a toolkit for measuring economic impacts of local food development. He served as an advisor for the USDA Community Food Projects including managing the national proposal review panel, and serves as a contributing editor to the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. He served as convenor and co-chair of the Community Economic Development Committee for the former Community Food Security Coalition, and is a leader of the Closing the Hunger Gap network. Meter taught economics at the University of Minnesota, and at the Harvard Kennedy School. Meter recently released a local foods plan for Alaska in 2014.

---------------------------

Questions?

Please contact Emmie Van Wyhe, intern to Senator Cathy Giessel, for more information.