Big Game Day Foods and the Worry of Food Security Collide

Chicken wings, fries and onion rings for Big Game day

Last Sunday, more than 100 million fans and viewers stocked up on their favorite game day foods to watch the Philadelphia Eagles take on the Kansas City Chiefs in “Super Bowl LVII.” The Big Game is the most watched television broadcast in the United States every year, and this year’s fare included geo-based foods like the Philly cheese steak and the Kansas City BBQ, along with traditional game day foods like wings, nachos, pizza, soda and beer. But not all U.S. families were able to participate.

Take the Native Americans living on remote reservations throughout the Southwest and Northern Plains. One in four Native families faces food insecurity, concerned about having enough healthy food to feed everyone in the household. Plus, a HUD report shows that reservation households are eight times more likely to be overcrowded than White households – meaning more mouths to feed.  

There’s more to the equation too. The USDA considers many reservation communities to be rural food deserts, devoid of fresh fruits and vegetables and 10 miles or more from the nearest grocery store. For many tribal communities, the nearest grocery store is one hour or more one way. The Navajo Nation, for instance, spans 27,000 square miles but only has 13 grocery stores. Imagine how the cost of fuel today drives up the overall cost of groceries – and then consider who can afford to stock up on game day foods.

This year those Big Game Day foods are higher in cost for everyone. In fact, the National Retail Association predicted families would spend an average of $85 on Big Game Day foods this year, but for families facing low food security, there is often no game day spending at all.

If your team won this year, or even if they didn’t, consider sharing another kind of win by helping us improve food security for Native American Elders, children and families. Game day organizers are making efforts to get the Big Game leftovers to those in need – it is doubtful any of this will make its way to Native American reservations. But all year round, Partnership With Native Americans delivers emergency food, fresh produce, breakfast food, pantry foods and staple foods for nutritious hot meals, and you can make someone’s day by donating here.

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One Comment

  1. Posted March 31, 2023 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    I still find it hard to believe that so many basics like food, appliances and refrigeration are still not secure in many Native communities. We’ve left so many communities behind.

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