Berries picked from Alakanuk, Alaska
Alaska Natives have long been recognized for their ability to live from the land and utilize its resources in an efficient, economical and environmentally friendly way. Recent efforts by the Food Bank of Alaska, in cooperation with Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) have brought a new source of food to rural Alaska: the Food Distribution Program for Indian Reservations (FDPIR), also called commodity foods) program. Funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the FDPIR has only been available as a food source to American Indians in the lower 48. Now, thirteen Alaskan villages have asked to pilot a new program that will enable them to receive food packages from the FDPIR.
The Nutrition Program at ANTHC has received funding from the USDA to evaluate the effects the FDPIR on the diet and the health of the Alaska Native population. The Nutrition Program aims to benefit remote Alaska Native communities by using culturally appropriate methods to promote increased fruit and vegetable consumption and increased use of traditional foods. Consuming traditional foods contributes to positive health of Alaska Native people in many ways, including nutritionally, culturally and spiritually. This project will promote increased fruit and vegetable intake, which is associated with lower risk of obesity and chronic diseases. This project seeks to involve the community in every way possible and will begin by assessing the community nutritional needs. In the next phase, nutrition education will assist people in increasing their cooking skills to help them better use the new commodity foods.
Dietary intake of Alaska Native people
Alaska Traditional Knowledge and Native Foods Database
Dept. of Wellness and Prevention
Office of Community Health Services
Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
4000 Ambassador Drive, C-DCHS
Anchorage, Alaska 99508
Phone: (907) 729-3650