JUNEAU – Yesterday, the Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan effort led by Rep. Liz Snyder to help tackle the issues surrounding food security in Alaska.
Modeled after the successful mariculture task force, House Bill 298 establishes the Alaska Food Strategy Task Force, expanding on the initial work of the Governor’s task force to produce recommendations for developing a comprehensive statewide food strategy; strengthening the state’s diverse food systems; improving food security for all residents; and growing the local food economies of the state.
“The passage of HB 298 is an exciting development for everyone who eats, everyone who wants to improve Alaska’s food independence and access, and everyone who wants to strengthen our local economy.” said Representative Liz Snyder (D-Anchorage). “Thank you to those who helped push this bill across the finish line, including the newly formed legislative Food and Farm caucus. Most of all, thank you to everyone working diligently to produce, distribute and advocate for good food in the state of Alaska.”
“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.”
“It was a delight to work on HB 298. Alaskans are more aware than ever of our need for increased food security and are worried about the bare shelves we’ve had lately,” said Senator Shelley Hughes (R-Palmer). “Back in the day, 50% of what we ate was produced in state. Now it’s less than 5%. We are too reliant on sources outside. We need a concerted effort to change this; and I think this legislation is a good step in the right direction.”
House Bill 298 heads to the Governor upon House concurrence.