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Healthy and Affordable Fresh Foods
Native Brief: LONGMONT, COLORADO - Nations Development Institute received a $500,000 grant from Walmart to support the availability of healthy and affordable fresh foods in American Indian communities.
The project will assist in developing or expanding locally-controlled and locally-based food systems to provide healthy foods and support agricultural related entrepreneurial ventures and the local economy in American Indian communities. The project will be implemented and administered under First Nations Development Institute's Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative.
"Production and consumption of locally-grown foods increases economic independence, leading to sustainable economic development in Indian Country,"
said Michael E. Roberts, president of First Nations Development Institute. Roberts also expressed the importance of this partnership with Walmart.
"Access to healthy foods is an important component in preventing and controlling diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity in Native American communities. By gaining control of local food systems, Native communities can provide healthier foods to tribal members and address the prevalence of diet-related diseases."
Typically, federal food programs for American Indians are designed to provide short-term food assistance to needy families and thus cannot support long-term sustainable food systems focused solutions.
"Supporting local farmers in Native American communities helps create a sustainable, long lasting effect by improving farm practices and growing the fruits and vegetables that people need to live healthier,"
said Pepe Estrada, Director of Corporate Affairs and Walmart's liaison to the Native American and Alaska Native community.
"We're excited to be a part of the good work that will be done through this support."
First Nations Development Institute launched the Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative in 2001 to enhance the overall well-being of Native American communities. Since its inception, the Native Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative has provided numerous trainings, direct technical assistance and 106 food security and agricultural grants to American Indian communities across the United States.
posted December 23, 2011 6:00 am est
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