National Nutrition Month: Fostering Healthier Eating through Community Gardens

One in four Native American families faces food insecurity, compared to one in eight Americans overall. This issue often stems from poverty and lack of access to grocery stores on reservations. And while the U.S. government provides aid to low-income families, the food items they deliver often lack nutritional value. In honor of National Nutrition Month in March, we wanted to share more on how PWNA works with reservation-based partners to bring more nutritional foods to Indian Country.

Project Grow, a service of PWNA’s Northern Plains Reservation Aid (NPRA) program, provides seeds, tools and tilling to support individual and community gardens in reservation communities. These garden projects create an opportunity for individuals to learn valuable skills and grow fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs that help promote healthier diets.

With the help of tribal partners and generous donors, Project Grow has been able to provide nearly 236,000 packs of seeds to reservation communities in 2020 alone. These seeds not only produce crops but foster hope for impoverished communities that mostly rely on commodities to feed their families. One 800-square foot garden can feed a family of four.

To help address food insecurity, Project Grow has also provided education on gardening, nutrition and healthy cooking to more than 1,500 people in the Northern Plains over the past three years. This training reaches both Elders and youth who are spearheading the next generation of creators and changemakers. By introducing healthy habits at an early age, communities have the power to break the cycle of food insecurity and reduce nutrition-related diseases for future generations.

There are many ways you can get involved in supporting Native communities during National Nutrition Month. Talk to your friends and families about the realities of food insecurity on the reservations, share this blog on social media or donate today to our NPRA program to make an immediate and lasting impact on Native communities.

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