Murkowski: $2 Million announced by USDA to support Agriculture in Alaska

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski announced Friday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will award $2 million to the Alaska Division of Agriculture for the Micro-Grants for Food Security Program, which will be available to fund grants for eligible Alaskans next calendar year.

    Senator Murkowski created Micro-Grants for Food Security Program via the 2018 Farm Bill, which aimed to help increase food security in the non-contiguous states and territories.

    Congress funded the program in Fiscal Years 2020, 2021, and 2022, and as a result, Alaskans, Hawaiians, and citizens of the U.S. Territories may apply to their respective state agriculture agencies for grant funding to strengthen small-scale, agriculture related projects, and improve opportunities to produce locally-grown food.

    Senator Murkowski said she is continuing to advocate for funding for the program in the Fiscal Year 2023 bill.

    “Alaska imports about 95 percent of the food we eat, and far too many Alaskans face food insecurity. That’s why I created the Micro-Grants for Food Security Program in 2018 – to ensure more Alaskans have greater access to healthy, affordable, locally grown options. The need for this program has only grown due to the continuing supply chain problems and high inflation, forcing more and more Alaskans to live off of cheaper, mass-produced imports rather than nutrient dense, fresh foods that could be grown at home.” said Senator Murkowski.

    According to Senator Murkowski, the Alaska Division of Agriculture has received over $6 million for the MGFSP since the program’s inception, and funded projects by 770 individuals and 116 non-profit organizations and local communities.

    A release from the senator's office explained those eligible for funding under the program. Individuals are eligible to receive up to $5,000 per year and Indian tribes and tribal organizations, non-profit organizations, federally-funded educational facilities, and local and tribal governments that may not levy local taxes are eligible to receive up to $10,000.

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