-- 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.
Villagers in Emmonak, Alaska, must travel to the store and to hunt using a snowmobile now that the river has frozen over.
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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, two pounds of cheese costs between $15 and $18, milk costs $10 a gallon, a five-pound bag of apples costs $15, and a dozen eggs costs $22 -- more than double the price in the area just two years ago. Watch one resident tearfully describe the challenge for his family »
Many area residents don't even bother with fruits and vegetables which can be damaged by freezing on the trip home.