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The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated food system issues in Indian Country. Rural tribal communities were hard-hit during supply chain disruptions that led to increased food insecurity and reduced access to fresh produce. Also infrastructure issues arose when trying to store large food donations creating a “boom and bust” food supply effect.
First Nations invests in and creates innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support economic development for American Indian people and their communities. In response to the pandemic and to strengthen Native food systems overall, in fall 2021, First Nations awarded 14 grants under the Northern Great Plains Food Storage Grant Opportunity. Grants were awarded to food pantries focused on serving Native communities to provide support for their food storage efforts.
This report summarizes key findings from qualitative interviews with First Nations’ grantees, as well as a literature review summary on traditional food storage methods on Indigenous Peoples in North America.