Mobile Market Map

Mobile market travels hundreds of miles weekly to ensure food security on Pine Ridge

Pine Ridge Indian Reservation is vast – over 3,000,000 square miles.  The distances families and elders must travel to access healthy food are long and prohibitive for many.

Hundreds of families visit the Oyate Ta Kola Ku Community Center each month to access fresh food grown in our Medicine Root community gardens.  They also come to receive food boxes, each filled with enough food to feed their families for a week.  Much of it also includes fresh foods grown in our Medicine Root Gardens. 

Many more would like to have access to fresh foods and food boxes, but the distance to travel is just too great. 

So, we decided to bring the food to them. 

In 2022, Running Strong for American Indian Youth® acquired a bus and modified it with shelving, a generator, refrigeration, and a freezer.   It became our Mobile Food Market!

The mobile market travels to reservation communities two times a week, offering families living in remote parts of the reservation convenient access to fresh produce and shelf-stable foods.

At the mobile markets, community members have convenient access to high-quality, just-picked fresh vegetables and fruits at affordable prices, along with possibly pantry items such as pickles and relish. They can use their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards.

In previous years, the mobile market has traveled from Kyle, where the Oyate Teca Project is headquartered, to various communities, including Pine Ridge Village (50 miles one way), Wanblee (30 miles one way), Manderson (29 miles one way), and others.

In 2023, approximately 140 families were served each week through the mobile market.

This year, the Mobile Market will travel to five communities twice a week. For the next eight weeks, through the end of August, the Market will distribute fresh produce from the Medicine Root garden, including lettuce, spinach, peas, beans, peppers, onions, and soon, tomatoes, squash, and so much more. 

In addition, the Mobile Market will deliver food boxes to families who cannot attend our monthly food box distribution. 

And new this year, we anticipate using the Mobile Market to deliver food boxes during the cold months of winter, when folks can’t get to us because they don’t have access to a car or it’s just too cold to walk.   (When it’s warmer in the summer, some families pull their food boxes in a wagon.)

Ensuring food security remains vitally important to Running Strong.  With the expansion of the mobile market, we will be able to serve hundreds of additional families throughout the year.  The operational costs of increasing access to and distributing fresh and boxed food are the only impediments to expanding our program even further.

Together, we can help to ensure food security for hundreds of families on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

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