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Keywords:

  • global food crisis;
  • Alaska;
  • food security;
  • migration;
  • food assistance;
  • Alaska Natives;
  • food systems reconstruction

Recent increases in the price of fuel in rural Alaska, coupled with high prices of grocery store foods and decreased efficacy of hunting and fishing have led to a food crisis in many regions of rural Alaska. In the summer of 2008 it was predicted that these events would lead to an upswing in the number of individuals migrating to urban areas of Alaska, putting additional stress on the already dwindling resources of food assistance providers. Through discussions with food assistance providers in Fairbanks, Alaska, a research program was designed to assess how well recent migrants were able to meet their food needs. In total 39 individuals were interviewed in November and December 2008, using face-to-face, semistructured interviews. This article discusses a smaller subset of the overall interviews, namely the responses of Natives who currently live in Fairbanks, Alaska. Further, this article informs understandings of “crisis” in the global sense, highlighting the importance of placing “crises” into the larger context of cumulative effects which are long-term and differentially distributed, rather than treating them as discrete and individually mitigatable events.