Accessing healthy food is a challenge for many Native communities. Without access to healthy food, a nutritious diet and good health are unattainable. Most experts agree that creating access to healthy food is 80% of the battle in addressing obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other health issues. Other external circumstances, such as community infrastructure, access to safe walking and exercise spaces, distance to grocery stores, and more, can also impact a person’s health. Many Indian communities suffer from wide health disparities because of poverty, geography, and other circumstances.
The Seeds of Native Health campaign supports organizations and programs that increase access to fresh, healthy food and improve the overall health and well-being of Native Americans.
Less than $1 million is spent by the United States government each year on Indian nutrition education. Few tribal governments have a designated food, nutrition or agriculture employee, and too few young people in Indian Country choose careers in food production, agronomy, agriculture lending, nutrition, public health, food law, or related fields which have a bearing on good diets.
The Seeds of Native Health campaign is funding the development of curriculum and educational programs to nurture the skills and knowledge necessary to make a meaningful impact on Indian nutrition at the local and national level.
The true extent of poor nutrition, the local barriers to good food, the dietary causes of health disparity, the healthfulness of traditional Native American diets, and the possible solutions all need further study.
By funding original research projects, the Seeds of Native Health campaign will add to the body of knowledge about this largely ignored crisis and help identify attainable solutions to the critical dietary challenges faced by Native communities.