Current Projects

Setting the Table for a Healthy Food System in Indian Country – Round 1

As part of First Nations’ Food Pantry Initiative, the Setting the Table for a Healthy Food System in Indian Country project supports work to build the organizational and program capacity of Tribal food pantries and food banks, thus boosting control, cultural responsiveness, and infrastructure of community food systems. This effort is vital to understanding the nature and profile of Tribal food pantries and food banks and the role these entities serve in addressing food needs of their communities.

Grants made through Round 1 of the project were made possible with the generous support of the Walmart Foundation.

The Setting the Table project was born out of First Nations Food Pantry Initiative ‒ a project under the umbrella program, Nourishing Native Foods & Health. The Food Pantry Initiative was launched in 2020 to provide resources to food-insecure Native American communities, organizations, and programs.

Through the Setting the Table project, in 2022, First Nations provided an average of $35,000 in grants to support the Native food programs of the following community partners.

Thanks to support provided through General Motors, six additional community partners received Setting the Table grants in 2022. Learn more.

2022 Grantees

Knik Tribe: Wasilla, Alaska – $34,996

This project will utilize and leverage existing and new resources to increase the production of vegetables and build the capacity of a growing tribal agriculture program and food pantry that create economic and educational opportunities for tribal members, while increasing food security for multiple tribal communities.

Native Conservancy: Cordova, Alaska – $34,425

The Elders Subsistence Food Program delivers freshly caught and frozen subsistence seafood to Native elders and their families in the Prince William Sound region at no cost every month. This project will increase the accessibility of traditional foods by providing wild seafood and game, and meals prepared from traditionally harvested foods.

Hopi Relief: Scottsdale, Arizona – $34,950

This project will create the first on-reservation food bank serving the Hopi reservation to increase the availability of healthy, culturally relevant foods for the community. It will also collect data about food insecurity in our unique cultural context, which will be utilized to inform this and future projects.

Hualapai Tribe: Peach Springs, Arizona – $33,862

This project will leverage current food donations, tribal services, and relationships with nearby food banks to increase access to nutritional foods for Hualapai community members. This will increase food security and create a platform for data collection that will improve food services for our community.

Native American Advancement Foundation: Tucson, Arizona- $33,000

This project creates healthy food access for GuVo District families with infants and preschool-aged children, a group that is unable to access daily meals through the after-school food programs for K-12th-grade youth. The O’odham Nenok project connects healthy food with Tohono O’odham himdag (lifeways) education.

We Care Shi Cheii doo Shi Masani: Pinon, Arizona – $34,120

This project will create accessible opportunities to healthy food choices that incorporate the traditional Navajo diet as a basis by utilizing cultural knowledge to increase a healthy lifestyle for local elders and the community.

Sust’ aina ble Molokai: Kaunakakai, Hawaii – $34,375

This project will retain opportunities for Native Hawaiians to access fresh, local foods and fresh, local, traditional foods through the island’s 22 food pantries. It will leverage the existing Food Hub, Mobile Market, and Eggs-to-Market programs to provide access to food on an island with high food insecurity.

FAST Blackfeet: Browning, Montana – $35,000

This project utilizes FAST Blackfeet programs to continue food access for food insecure Blackfeet Nation residents. It sustains a program of healthy food outreach through a network of local Montana agriculture growers to leverage the availability and quality of food distribution, and ensure the best use of foods provided.

Turtle Mountain Chippewa Food Pantry: Belcourt, North Dakota – $35,000

This project seeks to leverage key partnerships to expand monthly food-box deliveries to at least 25 elders in the Turtle Mountain Chippewa community and help provide transportation to move food from the store in Bottineau to the food pantry’s base of operations in Belcourt.

Walker River Paiute Tribe: Schurz, Nevada – $35,000

The Walker River Paiute Tribe initiated distribution of food in March 2020 in response to food insecurity brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The project began by distributing food boxes to community members and has now evolved into a food pantry that provides food on a weekly basis. The project is set to provide healthy food to 6,000 households (17,000 people) in 2022 alone.

Pueblo Resurgents: Isleta, New Mexico – $35,000

This project leverages food security data from a 2019 community health assessment to increase access to nutritionally dense food options for children by retaining the Radicle Food Distribution. It also increases control over local food economies by investing in local food producers and soil.

Native American Community Board: Lake Andes, South Dakota – $34,610

This project will reduce Yankton Sioux food insecurity and increase food sovereignty by leveraging existing services (food pantry, monthly drive-up food boxes, children’s backpack food, and elders’ food delivery). A newly created element will provide container vegetable gardens to 30 elders to grow tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, peppers, herbs, etc.

Oneida Nation: Oneida, Wisconsin – $35,000

This project will increase the availability of traditional foods, fresh foods, and meals for Oneida tribal members requiring nutritional support, as well as increase the income for traditional farmers and participant food knowledge.

Stocking the Pantry: How the Oneida Nation is Fighting Hunger on the Rez, September 2022

The Oneida Emergency Food Pantry was launched in 2017. Its mission statement: “We are an engaged community that fights hunger together.” Initially, the pantry served 12 people daily. Today, it serves more than 700 people a month and receives 200,000 pounds of food donations a year.


‘Our Foods Are Beautiful!’ September 2022

YAKANAL, a New Mexico-based international program, is reconnecting Indigenous people to their land and traditional agriculture. “The goal of restoring healthy Native foods allows the community to rely less on processed foods and provides sustainable income for Indigenous farmers,” explains Dr. Shelly Valdez, YAKANAL co-founder and CEO of Native Pathways.