Nancy with turkey No one goes hungry after a Thanksgiving dinner
provided by NPRA!

For many Native Americans of the Northern Plains, Thanksgiving is just another day.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2014 poverty rate for children under the age of 18 was 21 percent. Compare that to the 35 percent of Native American children living in poverty and the difference is staggering. Additionally, 90,000 Native Americans are homeless and 40 percent of Native Americans live in sub-standard, overcrowded housing.

The NPRA Thanksgiving service helps reservation Elders provide a nutritious and uplifting holiday meal for their families. For many, this will be cherished hearty meals before the long, harsh winter commences.

Led by Program Partners, local volunteers gather each year to assemble and distribute thousands of Thanksgiving meal bags on more than a dozen reservations. Each package includes a holiday feast sufficient to feed a family, such as turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, vegetables, and pies.

The perishables arrive in refrigerated trucks, and the volunteers work quickly to unload the skids, repackage the food, distribute the bags, and distribute or home-deliver meals to Elders in their community.

These volunteers have the opportunity to feel productive, serve their communities, and meet other caring individuals. We have seen time and again how these connections can spark needed change in communities. Partners are seen as a resource beyond their typical services they offer and this connects them to Elders on a different level.


Bringing Families and Communities Together

Our Thanksgiving service also provides food to Program Partners that wish to bring communities together. Much more than a holiday meal, they recruit volunteers to cook, set up, clean, and serve during the meals.

NPRA Thanksgiving provides food sufficient for the number of people the partner intends to serve, altogether providing meals for thousands of tribal members. These Thanksgiving community-wide meals help our partners bring families and communities together.

Service category: Holiday