In the Oglala District of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, hundreds of families from communities located in the district including Batesland, Kyle, Manderson-White Horse Creek, Porcupine and Wounded Knee come to the district’s service center regularly to receive boxes of food provided by Running Strong for American Indian Youth®.
While we have plenty of storage space to handle the thousands of food boxes we receive at the Tipi Waste field office warehouse, they are only held there for a very short time before delivery to the district offices for distribution.
In some instances, such as at the Oglala District Service Center food box pantry, there was not enough space to adequately hold all of the 35-pound boxes of nonperishable food items that would be delivered there at one time.
Running Strong field staffer Ken Lone Elk explained that the Oglala District office did not have any place to store the food boxes and other in-kind items provided by Running Strong, such as winter coats, school supplies, shoes and boots.
After documenting the need and presenting a proposal to Running Strong, the authorization was given to construct a shed that is large enough to hold all the items provided by Running Strong to distribution to Pine Ridge families living in Oglala.
This shed, designed by Ken, is “just the right size to distribute the stuff,” says Ken.
“It is neat,” he adds, “It has a 3-foot-high and 4-foot-wide door that opens up to distribute from – neat and functional for what it is intended for.”
Ken will soon be placing banners on the side reminding recipients of the Running Strong rules: “No bartering, no selling, no exchanging.”
What seems like a relatively “little” thing will soon be making a big difference in simplifying the process of distributing food boxes to thousands of families – thanks to the supporters of Running Strong for American Indian Youth®.