As Alaska pays millions to fix food stamp backlog, lawmakers suggest systemic fixes

A pair of bills before lawmakers would make systemic changes to the way the state’s food stamp program processes applications and could expand access to food aid for Alaskans. The legislation comes after more than a year of extreme delays in food stamp distribution across the state that have left thousands of vulnerable Alaskans without aid for months at a … Read More

40 Days of Giving Challenge

What is the “40 Days of Giving Challenge?” For those who are looking for a way to add giving to your Lenten practices, Food Bank of Alaska is offering a daily challenge: How To Participate: Collection will take place during the 40 days of Lent, beginning Ash Wednesday through Holy Thursday (February 14 – March 28, 2021). Food may be dropped … Read More

Bill would relax food stamp income eligibility requirements for Alaskans

Alaska senators gathered public testimony Tuesday in Juneau on a bill that would relax certain eligibility requirements for receiving federal food assistance, including increasing the income limit and doing away with an asset test. If passed, the household income requirements for SNAP food benefits would increase from 130% of the federal poverty guideline to 200%, a move that many other … Read More

Alaska’s federal food stamp funding at risk, USDA letter warns 

Alaska’s Department of Health risks losing federal funding for its food stamp program, warned a letter from the United States Department of Agriculture on Tuesday. It said the department is out of compliance with federal standards for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program due to what it described as “inefficient and ineffective administration.” The Department of Health has struggled to manage a backlog of … Read More

Carrs Safeway Launches $20 SNAP Produce Match

Food and nutrition insecurity has risen to alarming rates across Alaska, and Carrs Safeway is helping answer the challenge with additional benefits and services for SNAP customers. Today, Carrs Safeway is launching new online and in-store benefits for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients at all its stores in Alaska. This is the latest innovation in the company’s on-going efforts … Read More

Alaska receives $5.9M in federal aid for rural summer food program

Alaska has received $5.9 million in federal funding for a summer food program meant to help reduce food insecurity in rural communities by providing weekly shipments of shelf-stable meals to 4,000 eligible kids beginning in May. The project, announced this month by U.S. Department of Agriculture, is meant to help make up for the loss of free school lunches provided … Read More

Alaska opts out of federal program offering summer grocery money for families with kids

The new federal program would have meant an extra $120 per child in direct funds this summer to families who qualify for free or reduced lunches — or about half of all kids in Alaska. Officials with Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration cited a major food stamps backlog at the Alaska Division of Public Assistance as the reason for opting out of the program, which would have … Read More

Alaska food banks see more hunger as aid delayed

The Food Bank of Alaska is reporting unprecedented levels of food insecurity this year amid rising food costs statewide and major food stamp backlogs at the state Division of Public Assistance. Officials at those agencies say $4.5 million in state aid earmarked for food banks and pantries in Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposed state budget among other fixes could help. But … Read More