Southwest Indian Relief Council
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A Program of PWNA



Elders are among the hardest hit
both by hunger and
by nutrition-related diseases.
Nutritious food is often scarce and expensive on rural and isolated reservations in the Southwest. This places a heavy burden on all residents, and especially on frail and impoverished Elders. Many Elders have no transportation, and live a long drive across rough roads from the nearest grocery store. They often lack electricity, so they cannot keep perishable food.

Grandparents may often be the primary caregivers for their grandchildren and many times will put the young ones’ needs before their own. The result is when their meager monthly resources are exhausted, these Elders face a bare cupboard. Among Native American reservation populations, Elders are among the hardest hit both by food insecurity and by nutrition-related diseases such as diabetes and heart-disease.

Keeping the wolf from the door.
During the latter weeks of the month, when social security and other forms of support have typically been exhausted, the Southwest Indian Relief Council’s Food service delivers food supplies to communities. Armies of local volunteers sort and package the food, then deliver it to homebound and isolated Elders. For many Elders, the SWIRC food deliveries make the difference between going hungry and having a nutritious meal. They look forward to and treasure these visits — not only for the food, but also for the demonstration of caring. Caring for Elders is a strong value in Native American culture, and food provided by the SWIRC Program and local volunteers helps support communities in meeting this responsibility.

SWIRC volunteers make sure that
home-bound and isolated Elders
do not go hungry.
SWIRC services help Elder Nutrition Centers
stretch their limited budgets and provide for
the growing number of those in need.

Healthy, nutritious food.
The SWIRC Program also provides staples such as beans, rice, and dehydrated soup mix, plus fresh fruits and vegetables in season to food banks and Elderly Nutrition Centers. This helps these vital services stretch their limited budgets and provide quality, nutritious food for the growing number of those in need. In many areas, these centers provide the only nutritious meal Elders eat each day.

Our committment is to provide healthy and nutritious food to young and old alike.

Giving back to the community.
As always, the SWIRC Way encourages volunteer commitment as an important part of the Food service. Volunteers, many of whom participate in other SWIRC services, spend countless hours sorting, boxing, loading and distributing boxes of food to homebound Elders. Elders also are encouraged to give back to their community. Many who benefit from the Food service make beautiful traditional crafts to help support their local Elder Nutrition Center, or sew baby blankets which are distributed to young families in need through the Cradle Club.

Native American Elders are one of our most treasured resources. Along with our donors and our dedicated army of volunteers, SWIRC helps bring them sustenance and hope, year in and year out.

Give us a chance to share our mission with you.

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