You may qualify for a subsidized food box

News and Views from Rita

What is more wonderful than a gloriously 70 degree temperature on an innocent day in June, especially when I am writing this on May 15 in Anchorage, Alaska? For those of you who do not believe in climate change, I feel sorry for you. I have been living in Alaska for 48 years and I have never seen a springtime like the one we are now having here.

It is not so good for the fishermen and the rest of the people who live on the northwest coasts of our largest state, because they are losing land to the invading seas, and the ice is too mushy to stand on or even to cool their catches with.

Alaska’s Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP)

If you are a senior over 60 years of age and an Alaska resident and you meet the financial guidelines, you are qualified to receive a monthly package of nutritious foods including canned meat, vegetables, fruit, juice, milk, cereal, peanut butter or beans, and pasta, rice or potatoes. You will also receive nutrition education.

This program is available in Anchorage, Fairbanks and outlying areas. In Anchorage, call 272-3663 or visit http://www.foodbank of In Fairbanks, call 457-4273 or visit for a simple application.

Ideas on how to provide help

If you are a senior, perhaps newly retired and starting to get bored, you might be interested in using your skills to fix things for people who do not have your skills. We are thinking about finding a place where people could do just that. This could be an environmental initiative to reduce waste and we may be able to get a grant to procure such a place.

We could also restart Older Persons Action Group’s Wellness Tree, where members call other members every day, just to see how they are doing or if there is something they might urgently need. From my 30 years experience in helping people, I know this is something that most people would welcome. And it really feels good to help other people.

I would welcome any other ideas that any one of you brings to me.

It’s always something

I thought I was doing OK with computerese but now I find that they have slipped in some so-called “funny symbols,” called emoji, when they couldn’t find better words to use in a narrative.

Rita Hatch is an Older Persons Action Group board member and volunteers for OPAG’s Medicare assistance program. Contact her at 276-1059 in Anchorage or toll-free statewide at 1-800-478-1059. Her email address is

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