In rural Alaska villages, families struggle to survive!

By Mallory Simon (CNN) — Thousands of villagers in rural Alaska are struggling to survive, forced to choose between keeping their families warm and keeping their stomachs full, residents say.

Harvested nuts and berries, small game animals, and dried fish are the only things keeping some from starving.

To get to the nearest store, Ann Strongheart and her husband, who live in Nunam Iqua, Alaska, take an hour-and-15-minute snowmobile ride to Emmonak, Alaska. Their town does not have a store of its own.

Normally, they would each ride a snowmobile, in case one broke down. But now, they can’t afford to waste the fuel, so they just take one and hope for the best.

At the store, the Stronghearts buy groceries and supplies for the family for the week, which cost more than $400. They buy only as much as their snowmobile can carry.

In many stores, 2 pounds of cheese costs between $15 and $18, milk costs $10 a gallon, a 5-pound bag of apples costs $15, and a dozen eggs costs $22 — more than double the price in the area just two years ago.

Many area residents don’t even bother with fruits and vegetables, which can be damaged by freezing on the trip home.

After shopping, the Stronghearts pack their groceries into boxes, tie them to the snowmobile, and begin the 25-mile trek home, passing moose, rabbit and fox tracks along the way. The trip sets them back about $50 in fuel alone.

On top of high food prices, some residents are paying nearly $1,500 a month to heat their homes.

All we’ve heard from Palin was Drill Baby Drill! She can go to Atlanta Georgia to support the GOP there, she can attend posh meetings and conferences in Florida, yet she cannot seem to be able to travel the 500 miles in her own state to help the rural people of Alaska! When she runs for President in 2012, I hope the people of Alaska will talk about what she has NOT done for them.

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