Funding is part of more than $5 million in grants awarded by Walmart and the Walmart Foundation to help strengthen local communities
First Nations Development Institute (FDNI) and Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) are two of nine organizations selected by the Walmart Foundation to receive grants to fundprograms that address hunger and nutrition education, as a way to strengthen local Native American communities. The USDA reports that 42.2 million people in America are at risk of struggling with hunger and this funding will increase access to nutrition education and emergency meals.
“Collaboration and dedication are key to making a positive impact on the issue of hunger in local communities across the U.S. We’re proud to work with First Nations and Partnership With Native Americans to support hunger relief and nutrition education for individuals and families in need,” said Carol May, Program Manager of the Walmart Foundation.
With a focus on reaching underserved populations, these grants will help nonprofits across the country with their efforts to provide access to meals, as well as information to help themselves and their families make healthier life choices:
·  First Nations Development Institute has been awarded $475,000 to support nutrition education access for recipients of the federal Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), one of the most important and oldest federally funded feeding programs on reservations. The effort targets 30 Native communities. Through the funding, First Nations plans to provide financial assistance to Native American FDPIR programs to initiate or expand culturally- and community-based nutrition education projects that will encourage Native individuals and families to improve their nutrition and healthy habits, and to provide training sessions and the development of multi-media resource materials, and build the capacity of at least 100 FDPIR program managers to implement nutrition education programming and/or information in their communities.
· Partnership With Native Americans has been awarded $258,000 to serve 26,000 people, including providing children nutritious snack and juice service through food pantries, distributing emergency food supplies through food pantries, providing fresh produce at eight Elder Nutrition Centers, supporting 10 community garden projects, and conducting canning and healthy cooking training in 15 communities, as well as equipping a mobile nutrition and training unit for use in Southwest tribal communities. The funds enable PWNA to support and expand existing services offered by their program offices and distribution centers in Phoenix, AZ and Rapid City, SD. From these locations, PWNA will make weekly shipments of food and supplies to remote tribal communities in the Northern Plains and Southwest regions of the country.
“The opportunity to partner with these communities and leverage resources to create sustainable outcomes is one area of gain from these projects, “ says Rafael Tapia, Jr., Vice President of Programs at Partnership With Native Americans. “Another is the capacity building that is taking root as members of the community learn new skills and use them to improve quality of life for themselves and their families.”
In October of 2014, Walmart announced a commitment to create a more sustainable food system, with a focus on improving affordability by lowering the “true cost” of food for both customers and the environment, increasing access to food, making healthier eating easier, and improving the safety and transparency of the food chain. The commitment includes a goal of providing four billion meals to those in need and invest in programs that provide nutrition education for 4 million people, by 2020.
“Support from the Walmart Foundation will enable us to continue delivering on our ongoing commitment to expanding nutrition education programming for Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) recipients,” said Michael E. Roberts, President & CEO of First Nations.
For more information about the grant recipients, visit Partnership With Native Americans at and First Nations Development Institute at