Paws Along the Trail with Food Prices
Mushers carry snacks and food for dogs and themselves on their sleds. In the smaller villages, residents plan fundraisers with meals, t-shirt sales, hats, jewelry, and more. It’s a good idea to bring some cash on the trail. Mushers and volunteers might want a hot meal or a souvenir.
Visiting a store in Unalakleet, I couldn’t help but notice a difference in some of the food prices. While some items were similar to my home store, others were way more expensive. Food cannot be brought in with trucks here. It must be flown in or, in the summer, sent in on boats to the villages. I decided to get some photos of a few items in the local store here in Unalakleet. For mushers who are peanut butter and jelly fans, it might be cheaper to pack their sandwiches ahead of time.
Here is a math problem to solve, based on prices in the village store:
Primary students: If a musher wanted to buy a box of pancake mix and maple syrup but only has $15, could he/she buy both for these prices? (Alaska has no sales tax, so don’t worry about that.)
Intermediate students: You need to feed 150 people. A box of pancake mix will make 28 large pancakes. One bottle of syrup has 18 servings. How many boxes of pancake mix must you buy to make enough for every person to have two pancakes? How many bottles of syrup do you need? What would be the cost of the items if you bought them in the Unalakleet store?
Extra challenge: Work this same problem with prices of pancake mix and syrup from your own store.
Higher math: Research the reasons why costs of food go up so high in rural areas versus urban areas. Could anything be done to lesson the costs for residents of small villages?