Food assistance is plentiful in Alaska.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved purchase of up almost $160 million in domestic seafood, fruits, vegetables and nuts for food assistance programs, of which the Last Frontier will both provide and receive an allotment.
The past year's pandemic has been difficult for farmers, ranchers and seafood harvesters, as well those who work in those arenas to feed America.
"These impacts have only exacerbated longstanding disparities in food insecurity," according to a press release from Alaska's congressional delegation, noting that millions of Americans struggle to put food on their tables.
"Food banks are busier than ever as families across the U.S. worry about where their next meal will come from. This historic purchase of foods to assist our food producers and hungry Americans ..."
Specifically, this purchase represents the largest single seafood purchase in the USDA's history, and will greatly assist the seafood industry.
This food is purchased with Section 32 money. The authorization is in the Agricultural Adjustment Act, which allows the USDA to purchase surplus domestic commodities and direct them to programs that feed Americans.
The food will be distributed to schools, child care providers, senior citizens, food banks, disaster victims and Indian tribes through programs such as the National School Lunch Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program, and the Emergency Food Assistance Program.
This purchase and distribution responds to the most vulnerable and needy, which could be any American if fortunes were to change.
The annual Section 32 purchase addresses life's basic necessity — food.