By Mark Thiessen and Becky Bohrer
The Associated Press 

Food stamp delays hit hardest in rural Alaska villages


AP Photo/Mark Thiessen

Stephanie Duboc of Eagle River shops at the Chugiak-Eagle River Food Pantry inside a Presbyterian church in Eagle River on April 21. Like thousands of other Alaskans, Duboc, a volunteer at the pantry, didn't receive her food stamp benefits for months, prompting increased demand at food pantries and food banks across Alaska.

Thousands of Alaskans who depend on government assistance have waited months for food stamp benefits, exacerbating a long-standing hunger crisis worsened by the pandemic, inflation and the remnants of a typhoon that wiped out stockpiles of fish and fishing equipment in Western Alaska.

The backlog, which began last August, is especially concerning in a state where communities in far-flung areas, including Alaska Native villages, are often not connected by roads. They must have food shipped in by barge or airplane, making the cost of even basic goods exorbitant. Around 13% of the state's roug...

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