The Importance of Local Foods to Users of Food Pantries in Accessible Rural Alaska

  • Tracey Kathleen Burke University of Alaska Anchorage http://orcid.org/0000-0001-5242-7610
  • Cara Durr Food Bank of Alaska and Alaska Food Policy Council
  • David Reamer Southern New Hampshire University
Keywords: Food Security, Local Foods, Rural, Food Pantries, Alaska

Abstract

Discussions of food security in Alaska normally focus on locally grown foods, Alaska Native subsistence, or poverty, but the intersection between these aspects of food security within Alaskan society have only been examined in the context of urban communities or remote, rural communities. In this paper, we draw attention to a neglected group of communities, rural, mostly non-Native communities accessible by ground transportation. We weave the three discourses of food security together by examining how low-income people within a specific context incorpo­rate home-grown produce and wild proteins into their diets, thereby expanding the meaning of “local” food. We conducted interviews with users of food pantries and find that some are able to garden and/or hunt and fish—and that this ability may enhance their food security. We discuss ways in which their pantry peers who are less engaged with local foods may be supported to increase their involvement.

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Author Biographies

Tracey Kathleen Burke, University of Alaska Anchorage
Professor of Social Work, University of Alaska Anchorage; 3211 Providence Drive; Anchorage, AK 99504 USA
Cara Durr, Food Bank of Alaska and Alaska Food Policy Council
Director of Public Engagement, Food Bank of Alaska; 2121 Spar Avenue; Anchorage, Alaska, 99501 USA; and board member, Alaska Food Policy Council
David Reamer, Southern New Hampshire University

Graduate student in the Master of Public History program (distance), Southern New Hampshire University. Mr. Reamer lives in Anchorage.

Published
2018-02-22
How to Cite
Burke, T. K., Durr, C., & Reamer, D. (2018). The Importance of Local Foods to Users of Food Pantries in Accessible Rural Alaska. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 8(1), 53-69. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2018.081.003