With some villagers paying $400 for a week's groceries and $1,500 for a month’s heat, rural Alaskans are literally fighting to survive, CNN reports. Milk can cost $10 a gallon and eggs $22 a dozen, and the long trip by snowmobile to the store means running through $50 in fuel. “Right now, we can't eat during the day, only at supper time. If there had been no school lunch, our kids would be starving,” wrote one man of his town's woes.
The winter began early and froze the Yukon River, cutting off access to essentials, and food had to be flown in at high cost—prices exacerbated by a poor salmon harvest in which many fisherman actually lost money. Normally, locals would hunt for their food—but that means using their snowmobiles, which requires more gas. Gov. Sarah Palin’s office is looking for means to help.