The current global outbreak of COVID-19 has disrupted food systems in the Chugach region. Tribal member?s food environments are rapidly changing in both their external dimensions ? food availability, prices, vendors- as well as personal dimensions ? geographical access, affordability, convenience and desirability. These rapid food environment changes are influencing the consumers? dietary practices and can lead to a deterioration in both individual, and country level, nutritional and health status. Traditional food plays an important role in the formation of identity, in the development of community, economic and social institutions, and in the everyday lives of Alaska Native people and communities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, CRRC has not been able to provide member Tribes with the services they are used to related to food security and food health monitoring. People, and their health and nutrition status, are what counts. Not only are certain foods central to the ceremonial and epistemological belief systems of many Tribes, but communities also face unique issues as they try to feed their people in a world of increasing prices and harder access to good food. Sustainable healthy diets that contain sufficient fruits and vegetables are crucial in protecting people?s immunity. Issues of hunger, food insecurity, access to traditional food sources, and geographic isolation make accessing fresh and healthy foods a challenge for many Alaska Native communities, families and children. The seven Tribes suffer from lack of economic opportunity that the rest of Alaska prospers from due to the remoteness of the towns and high cost of travel. The primary food sources have changed dramatically over the past 100 years. Lifestyle changes, including moves from rural areas to cities and new economic pressures, make time-consuming harvests of wild food impractical, if not impossible.It is important for CRRC to continue work in the region to ensure food security t
hroughout the Chugach. Without access to healthy foods, Tribal members, particularly for those at risk of, or suffering from food insecurity and those with pre-existing non-communicable diseases who are at a heightened risk of becoming severely ill with the virus. It is vitally important for CRRC to receive relief funding to be able to offset the costs incurred by staff to the baseline operating budget of the organization. The organization?s general fund was not designed to respond to a global pandemic and other grants and contracts do not allow time to be charged to those grants for services that do not directly benefit the Tribes and Tribal members.