Westport-based Newman’s Own Foundation has teamed with nine nonprofit organizations to focus on providing fresh food access and nutrition education to Native American communities.As part of this new endeavor, dubbed the “Native American Nutrition Cohort,” the foundation will allocate $1.5 million in grants over two years. The foundation is also meeting with the nonprofits today and tomorrow in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to discuss strategies on achieving their goals; additional meetings will be held over the next two years to compare results.
“Too little attention has been paid to the Native American population and organizations serving those communities that are in the best position to know the real needs and how to address them,” Bob Forrester, president and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation, said. He noted that 23 percent of Native households lack access to adequate food due to financial limitations while up to 50 percent of children within this demographic are overweight or obese by the age of 10 as a result of the absence of fresh and healthy food options.
The nonprofits participating with Newman’s Own Foundation in this endeavor are the Minneapolis-based American Indian Cancer Foundation; Center for Rural Affairs in Lyons, Nebraska; Dakota Rural Action in Brookings, South Dakota; MoGro, a project of the Santa Fe Community Foundation; Painted Desert Demonstration Projects Inc., also known as Star School, in Flagstaff, Arizona; Partnership with Native Americans in Addison, Texas; Running Strong for Native American Youth in Alexandria, Virginia; Thunder Valley Community Development Corp. in Porcupine, South Dakota; and Zuni Youth Enrichment Project in Zuni, New Mexico.