Fact Sheet Bolstering Food Sovereignty and Improving Food Access among Tribes
Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan
Julio Salas, Kassandra Martinchek
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In 2020, the Walmart Foundation awarded grants to 11 community-based projects offering innovative approaches to supporting healthy food access. The grants focused on initiatives that improve access to fresh foods for regions and populations experiencing disproportionately high rates of food insecurity. The Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, one of the 11 grantees, created recipes and cooking videos with traditional foods that complemented customized Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) food packages to help increase consumption of healthy native foods among tribal citizens.

Key features of the initiative included creating culturally relevant food recipes and cooking videos that complemented existing efforts to expand access to local native foods through FDIPR self-determination contracts that enabled select tribes to enter into contracts with eligible vendors to source and provide culturally relevant food to FDPIR participants. We found that the recipes and cooking videos were reported to bolster tribal citizens’ sense of cultural connection and community. There is potential that expanding 638 contracts and allowing tribal nations to select who to source food from and what food to source could improve Native American’s cultural connections via food.

Research Areas Social safety net
Tags Emergency food networks Food insecurity and hunger Hunger and food assistance
Policy Centers Income and Benefits Policy Center Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population Health Policy Center Research to Action Lab
Research Methods Qualitative data analysis
States Michigan
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