Hunger and Native American Communities

We are in the season of food. We begin at Thanksgiving and its mountains of turkey and stuffing, wind our way through Christmas party after Christmas party surrounded by cookies and hors d'oeuvres, and end with New Year's Eve and yet another party. It's no wonder the majority of people put "Lose Weight" at the top of their New Year's Resolutions!

I am not here to shame anyone. I love a good Christmas party as much as the next person, I love being surrounded by family and the joy that comes from the holidays, and you will most likely see me at the gym on January 2nd, but as we celebrate, let's take the time to remember those who have less.

According to one study:

60 percent of counties with a native majority face dangerously high food insecurity rates. And 23 percent of the small U.S. Indigenous population has terrible access to “adequate food” — almost twice the national average. (Alex Zielinski, ThinkProcess)
Note how often the counties with more than a 25% Native population are also areas of extreme food scarcity, particularly in the Four Corners region of New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah, in South Dakota, and in Montana. (This is not to undermine the food insecurity in the Southeastern states, if you feel called to help there, please do so.)

Note how often the counties with more than a 25% Native population are also areas of extreme food scarcity, particularly in the Four Corners region of New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah, in South Dakota, and in Montana. (This is not to undermine the food insecurity in the Southeastern states, if you feel called to help there, please do so.)

Food insecurity goes hand in hand with poverty which stems, in most cases, from the historical trauma that has burdened Native communities for generations.

At Lutheran Indian Ministries, we work with individuals to start them on a healing journey, creating leaders within their homes and communities, by giving them a voice and showing them the love and grace of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Christmas is a time for giving, so as you distribute your gifts, remember to include your local food pantry, hunger task force, or Native-focused organization.

Looking for other places to give to help Native communities? Try searching Guidestar for local organizations.