Alaska state officials promise aid to hurting Southwest Alaska villages

From the Arctic Sounder on Thursday, January 29, 2009:

State officials assessing hardships on the lower Yukon River area for a possible disaster declaration said they’ll push to create a fuel voucher that could help the poorest families.

After two days of listening to crushing testimony from scores of residents in Emmonak and Kotlik, the team said they would do all they can to quickly help.

“In both communities, we hear loud and clear that the children are going to school not ready to learn, that they’re hungry and cold. That’s really troubling to me,” said Tara Jollie, director of the state Division of Community and Regional Affairs.

“We’re hearing that there are families that are hungry and that’s not acceptable,” she said.   

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