Muscogee Nation Partners to Bring Children’s Food Program to Reservation

Muscogee Summer EBT program
Joing Principal Chief David Hill (center) for the historic signing ceremony were (from left) Hunger Free Oklahoma President/CEO Chris Bernard, Muscogee Creek Nation Deputy Secretary of Community & Human Services Carmin Tecumseh-Williams, Muscogee Creek Nation WIC Program Director Katura Bunner and Second Chief Del Beaver.

OKMULGEE, OK – The Muscogee Nation has partnered with the Chickasaw Nation, Cherokee Nation, Hunger Free Oklahoma and USDA Food and Nutrition Services to bring the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Program for children to the Muscogee reservation.

The Muscogee Nation National Council met and passed two tribal resolutions and a tribal law clearing the way for the Principal Chief to sign and implement the program.

One of the resolutions, TR 24-027, authorized the Principal Chief to submit a management plan and apply for the USDA funding of $14,666,572 with the commitment of a tribal match of $1,947,618. The other resolution, TR 24-028, authorized the Principal Chief to execute a memorandum of understanding for an intergovernmental agreement with the Chickasaw Nation and the Cherokee Nation, who are both operating Summer EBT programs in their respective reservations and will assist the Nation in implementation.

Both of the resolutions passed unanimously, 14-0, with the law passing 12-1. National Council Second Speaker Thomasene Yahola Osborn sponsored all three legislations.

“I thought it was important for us as a Nation to step in and make sure these eligible children on our reservation have a program that meets their nutritional needs throughout the summer,” said Second Speaker Yahola Osborn. “Many times, tribes have the opportunity to work together with partners to ensure there are no gaps in crucial services for people who are in need. When we say that we are here for our people, and for our communities, this is what we mean.”

The Summer EBT program will be administered through the Muscogee Nation Women, Infants and Children Program and will serve up to 105,604 eligible children. The program provides $40 per month, per eligible child throughout the summer on EBT cards.

“We are thrilled to provide this crucial service to families across our reservation, and it’s extra special to work with our fellow tribes and a great organization like Hunger Free Oklahoma,” said Muscogee Principal Chief David Hill. “We know many children depend on services like this, for them it’s not an issue of politics, but an issue of need. So, we knew how important it was to make this happen.”

“We are so proud to partner with the Muscogee Nation as we continue to fight hunger in Oklahoma,” said Chris Bernard, Hunger Free Oklahoma President/CEO. “We want to thank Chief Hill and Second Chief Beaver and the National Council for their vision and for caring for their communities.”

The complete budget for the program, combining the USDA funding, Muscogee Nation matching funds and $1 million raised by Hunger Free Oklahoma, totals $16,614,190.