Southwest Indian Relief Council
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A Program of PWNA

Success Stories

 Producing Some Security

Poverty is the principal reason people in the United States experience food insecurity, hunger and malnutrition. American Indian people living on reservations, with their chronically high rates of poverty, also have the highest rate of food insecurity of any ethnic group in America. In fact, American Indians are more than twice as likely to experience food insecurity and hunger as other families in the United States (Food in Every Country, Politics, Economics, and Nutrition, 2010).


According to the 2000 Census, 44% of individuals in the Chinle area are living in poverty. About 7% of the total population in the same area consists of Elders 65 years and over. A staggering 74% of grandparents are caring for their grandchildren, which can create a further strain on finances! These Native Elders, who are especially vulnerable to poverty and malnutrition, need a lot of support.

Thanks to our generous donors who recognize the urgency of delivering food relief to food insecure areas, we are providing critical nutritional assistance to those in need. In 2009, the SWIRC Program was responsible for over 665,000 pounds of fresh and frozen produce. That's 332 tons of healthy foods distributed to 18 Program Partners on five reservations.

Fresh tomatoes and cucumbers were included in the healthy produce delivered. Tomatoes are full of Vitamin A and potassium, which plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy heart. Cucumbers contain Vitamin C, Vitamin A, and potassium; cucumber skin is full of fiber. Healthy frozen corn, mixed vegetables and green beans were also part of the distributions. We all know that when fresh produce isn't available, the next best thing is frozen!

All the Elders and families were extremely appreciative of the extra food items brought into their community and homes. Thanks to our generous donors and partners, food insecure homes were given an abundance of high quality fresh and frozen produce items to prepare meals, combat illnesses and stay healthy.

Elizabeth Louise

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