Anchorage announces voucher program to assist residents during shutdown

Essential groceries like milk and eggs slide down a conveyor belt to be purchased.
(Laura Thorne/Creative Commons)

As Anchorage enters another shutdown in December, the city is launching a $1 million voucher program to help people purchase essentials such as groceries, gasoline and medication. 

Residents who fall into specific income brackets or are already enrolled in the Alaska Temporary Assistance Program, Medicaid, Denali Kid Care, unemployment or pandemic unemployment, and food stamps or pandemic food stamps are eligible to apply.

Individuals can receive up to $200 and families up to $400. The vouchers will come in the form of non-transferrable gift cards that can be spent on eligible daily expenses from Carrs, Fred Meyer, Natural Pantry, or Red Apple, according to a statement from the city on Tuesday. The cards can’t be spent on tobacco or alcohol and can’t be redeemed for cash.

The program is being funded through the city’s remaining $15 million in CARES Act money. At a press conference last week, Acting Mayor Quinn-Davidson said she would be working with the Assembly to distribute that money to help businesses and residents make ends meet while restrictions are in place. 

Applications close on December 13 at 11:59 p.m. If the city receives more applications than they have funding for, vouchers will be awarded through a lottery. Residents can apply online at muni.org/assistance.