Food assistance requests are up in Mat Su

An organization that provides over-the-phone assistance for people in financial distress has announced that so far this year, calls for food assistance have gone up dramatically in the Mat Su Borrough. KTNA’s Lorien Nettleton has more:
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Alaska 211 is a hotline run by United Way of Anchorage on behalf of all Unite Ways in Alaska, and so far, from January to June this year the hotline has directed callers to food area pantries 34-percent more this year than last.

United Way’s Sue Brogan says the increase in referrals for food assistance is a reflection of both increased need and stress on service providers.

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The United way says in a press release that since 2009, they’ve seen increasingly more Alaskans – working people higher on the income scale than ever before – struggling to make ends meet. People who didn’t need help before need it now. Brogan says that demand on the now 5-year-old system is unremitting.

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The united way is poised to distribute a one-million-dollar grant from the Rasmusson Foundation at the end of this week, and food drives in Anchorage are planned this month in hopes of alleviating some of the demand.

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