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Grants for food security projects and subsistence equipment available through March 30

Stephanie Maltarich
Salmon strips hang to dry in Aleknagik. July 2021.

Last month, the state’s Division of Agriculture opened up a program to fund purchasesof subsistence equipment and other tools to grow or store food. Areas where there is higher food insecurity, including much of Bristol Bay, will be given priority in the program.

The grants can go toward things like fishing nets, freezers, smokers and ammunition. Funds are also available for vacuum packing or canning equipment.

The federally funded program, called “Microgrants for Food Security,” aims to help people grow, harvest or store food.

Individuals can apply for up to $5,000, and Tribes and organizations that directly address food insecurity like food banks and churches, can apply for up to $10,000.

Funds can also cover labor costs and educational programs. For example, people can receive funds to buy or build composting units or towers to grow leafy vegetables, attend a gardening course, or develop an online website.

The state will also cover some shipping costs. In rural areas like Bristol Bay, that amount is up to $1,500.

So far, state officials say they have received over 2,400 grant applications. They are ranked by areas of geographic necessity — so the more food insecurity in a census area, the more likely it is that grants from that area will be accepted. The state ranked areas based on data from Feeding America and SNAP. The Lake and Peninsula Borough ranks number 7 out of the state’s 29 census areas, followed by Dillingham, which is number 8. The Bristol Bay Borough is ranked number 19.

The state will also take into account how many people would benefit from each grant.

Applications for the food security micro-grant program are open now and close at 5 p.m. on March 30.

Contact the author at or 907-842-2200.

Izzy Ross is the news director at KDLG, the NPR member station in Dillingham. She reports, edits, and hosts stories from around the Bristol Bay region, and collaborates with other radio stations across the state.