How people in rural Alaska get their groceries: Courtesy USPS

June 30, 2014

Villagers ride an ATV in Hooper Bay, Alaska, on May 14. (Whitney Shefte/The Washington Post)

The Alaska Bypass was created 33 years ago by the late senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), a system that requires the U.S. Postal Service to ship groceries and other consumer goods to the remote outposts known as the bush.

But as the Postal Service loses billions of dollars a year, the program, with its winners and losers, is coming under scrutiny from Congress and the agency’s inspector general.

The Post traveled to a Yupik Eskimo village in western Alaska to understand how Bypass works.

Here are links to the story,  photo gallery and video.

The U.S. Postal Service has lost about $2.5 billion since the early 1980s delivering goods to Alaska’s remote villages. The program, called the Alaska Bypass, was created in part to help curb the otherwise high price of shipping groceries to Alaska Natives. Critics say the savings are not passed on to customers and are pressing for a lower postal subsidy. (Whitney Shefte/The Washington Post)
Lisa Rein covers the federal workforce and issues that concern the management of government.
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Josh Hicks · June 30, 2014