TAHLEQUAH, OK – The Cherokee Nation received a one-time Feeding America grant that was matched by the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, resulting in $80,000 worth of food items delivered to the tribe. The fresh produce, spices, dairy and meat items will be distributed to 1,770 Cherokee citizen elders aged 62 and up who currently receive food through the Cherokee Nation Food Distribution program.
The supplemental items will be available starting August 1st throughout the tribe’s food distribution center locations and packets given to the elders when they come in for their monthly food.
“This Feeding America grant and match from the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma will benefit so many of our elders and help ensure they have adequate access to fresh produce and nutritious foods,” said Deputy Chief Bryan Warner. “Food security is a priority here on the reservation and this grant will help us increase those efforts that we already make daily.”
Food items received included:
- 1,800 units of eggs
- 1,800 units of whole milk
- 1,800 units of cheddar cheese
- 1,800 units of sour cream
- 1,296 units of black pepper
- 1,344 units of salt
- 1,800 units of honey
- Over 12,000 units of various number of seasonings
- 2,200 units of one-pound hamburger meat from Cherokee Nation’s 1839 Cherokee Meat Company
- 800 cases of fresh potatoes
- Cases of bananas
“We are so grateful to the Cherokee Nation for allowing us to partner with them,” said Calvin Moore, President and CEO of Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. “We are inspired by the many successes Cherokee Nation has accomplished in a variety of arenas. This particular event is a culmination of Feeding America’s Office of Tribal Partnership as well as the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma’s efforts to continue to provide healthy food and help for Oklahomans in need. We look forward to continuing this innovative partnership we know will accomplish so much.”
“Many of the food items aren’t typically given out at the tribe’s food distribution centers, so it’s exciting to see some new items going to Cherokee citizens,” said Cherokee Nation Human Services Executive Director Jennifer Kirby. “This will provide for our clients, especially our elder clients that depend on this monthly as their main food source. So, being able to add these other food items is monumental to help them get through till the next month’s food distribution. It will also encourage them to use the spices that they’re going to get to freshen up their meals and make their meals taste a little better. We hope that this is more than supplemental for them.”
The Cherokee Nation’s Self Governance department wrote the grant. The grant helped purchase hamburger meat from the Cherokee Nation’s 1839 Meat Co. to include in the packets.