Hunger impacts Native American families and communities

All people should be able to get the food and resources they say they need, but barriers like racism and discrimination cause Native Americans to be three times more likely to experience food insecurity than white individuals.

According to the Census Bureau, 1 in 4 Native Americans live in poverty, and approximately 1 in 5 Native Americans are food insecure.

A couple of Native American descent holding food while standing outside.

Native American communities are working to overcome food insecurity despite the challenges they face:

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    Displacement and dispossession:

    Native Americans have a long history of growing traditional foods to nourish their communities. However, colonialism and other policies took away ancestral land and the ability to grow this food. Today, many communities are working to reclaim their traditional foodways and systems by growing their food, teaching traditional cooking skills, and advocating for policies supporting their food sovereignty.

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    Food deserts:

    Many Native and Tribal communities live in areas without easy access to supermarkets and healthy food. However, Native communities are working to address this challenge by building gardens, opening food banks and grocery stores, and advocating for food programs that increase access to healthy food that matches their traditions.

Addressing food insecurity in Native and Tribal communities

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Partnering with Native and Tribal communities

Forty-eight Native Nations and tribal communities are in an area served by a food bank in the Feeding America network. The Feeding America network is committed to learning from and partnering with Native and tribal communities to ensure they have the necessary food and resources.

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Supporting Native and Tribal-led programs

The Natives Preparedness program, a project led by Native and Tribal communities with support from the Feeding America network, helps communities prepare for disasters and provide healthy food to their citizens following disasters.

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Providing grants to food banks serving communities of color and rural areas

Feeding America has provided nearly $100 million to network member food banks to support communities of color and rural communities disproportionately impacted by food insecurity.

How you can help

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Help the Feeding America network distribute food by volunteering your time at a local food bank.

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Educate yourself about Native American culture and the resilience of Native communities.

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Speak up against hunger in your community and urge your elected officials to support policies that help fight food insecurity.