JUNEAU – A bipartisan effort led by Representative Liz Snyder to help tackle the issues surrounding food security in Alaska passed the House today with a vote
Created in collaboration with stakeholders such as the Alaska Food Policy Council, the Alaska Farm Bureau, and the Food Bank of Alaska, House Bill 298 establishes the Alaska Food Strategy Task Force, a multidisciplinary task force on Alaska’s food systems and sovereignty with the goal of improving food security for the long-term benefit of Alaska’s communities, economy, and environment. Sitting members will come from various communities and interests and be representative of Alaska’s diverse population. Work of the task force will complement and expand on the momentum of the Governor’s Food Security and Independence Task Force and the Legislature’s Food and Farm Caucus.
“Alaska imports 95% of its food at an annual cost to Alaskans of $2 billion. What’s more, if supply chains should break down, Alaska would have only one week of food on store shelves,” said Rep. Liz Snyder (D-Anchorage). “Food security is truly a shared priority across all parties and caucuses. I spent much of the interim working with stakeholders to develop this bill, and I’m honored to be working with my colleagues, as well as the administration, to strengthen Alaska’s food systems.”
“Alaska’s assurance that the need for continuity to a Food Strategy Task Force which provides direction in Alaska’s quest for Food Security during the worlds’ troubled times, will be able to continue its work toward that purpose,” said Representative George Rauscher (R-Sutton).
“Improving food security is good for our health, good for our economy, and good for economic development,” said Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage). “All Alaskans benefit from these actions and I thank everyone who developed this bill and will work hard to see these ideas turn into action.”
House Bill 298 now moves to the Senate for further consideration.