Native American Connections applied for and was awarded $120,000 from Local Initiatives Service Committee-Phoenix to participate in the national Funds to Feed grant program. Over the past eight months we've expended those funds with two goals: first, to provide meals and food supplies to fixed / low-income individuals and families; second, to support local, Indigenous, small businesses which faced serious economic setbacks from the pandemic. We accomplished both!
We invite you to read more below and visit NAC's new TikTok account for a short video of our Funds to Feed activity. Click here to view video!
Brad Firethunder, chef/owner of Phoenix Eats prepared and delivered 800 Thanksgiving dinners, and 800 Christmas dinners to families living in five different NAV low-income housing communities in Phoenix.
Maria Parra Cano, chef of record at the Phoenix Indian School Visitors Center and owner of Sana Sana Foods, prepared 40 meals each week for 10 weeks, February – April, for our Senior Living, fixed income Phoenix site.
Nephi Craig, Executive Chef of Café Gozhoo in Whiteriver AZ, offered four sessions at NAC’s Substance Use / Transitional Living sites in Phoenix. His presentations, lectures, demonstrations were focused on healthy foods, easy preparations, and eating for wellness. He taught, prepared, and served a total of 85 individuals in recovery on those four occasions.
NAC collaborated with Partnerships with Native Americans who hired Indigenous chefs for their ‘Train the Trainer’ program aspect of the grant. They recruited ‘student cooks’ for eight teaching sessions over five months, taught by Nephi Craig, Bleu Adams, Felicia Cocotzin Ruiz, Tyrone Thompson, among others and prepared a total of 620 meals which State Farm Volunteers delivered to NAC’s five fixed / low-income sites in Phoenix.
In support of Arizona agriculture, NAC, purchased from Green-on-Purpose locally grown and harvested produce, and 250 10-lb bags of heirloom Guatemalan roasted coffee beans from Tonatierra. The produce was bagged into 1,435 separate 10-lb packages sent to 9 different Phoenix destinations for families from February through June. Those packages provided the ingredients for many, many meals.
Each and every one of those events/deliveries help supplement families’ pantries during a difficult time of rising costs and provided fresh ingredients for health and well-being.