ALEXANDRIA, VA – Today, Running Strong for American Indian Youth delivered 30,600 pounds of frozen food to the Eagle Butte Food Pantry on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The special delivery was an act of COVID-19 relief for 1,700 families.
Food insecurity is a prevalent issue in remote rural communities, and Native American reservations face especially taxing conditions as tribal authorities take measures to fight the spread of illness during the coronavirus crisis. Many have restricted travel beyond the reservation, and limited trips to already-scarce grocery stores.
“Families on Cheyenne River face significant challenges with food insecurity in normal times, and these sure aren’t normal times,” said Billie Rose Garreaux, Running Strong’s Food Distribution coordinator on Cheyenne River. “Running Strong is proud to do our part to help families facing the coronavirus crisis.”
Each of the 1,700 food boxes delivered to the Eagle Butte Food Pantry this week contain between 18 and 20 pounds of frozen protein and vegetables. One box is designed to feed two meals a day for a family of four for two weeks, and all boxes will be distributed from the Food Pantry in their entirety. The delivery was made by a specialized transportation service to ensure as few points of contact as possible during the route, and handled by Cheyenne River’s Emergency Management team to maintain social distancing.
In response to community need on Cheyenne River, Running Strong built the Eagle Butte Food Pantry in 1996. This was followed by a 1,260 sq. foot addition in 2003, and the donation of a brand new walk-in freezer in 2010. Running Strong also maintains the forklift, pallet jacks, and six food shipments to the Food Pantry each year. To date, Running Strong has sent 35,700 food boxes to the Eagle Butte Food Pantry, totaling over 680,000 pounds of food for the Cheyenne River community.
Running Strong for American Indian Youth works to help Native American communities with immediate survival needs. To learn more about their programs visit Running Strong at www.indianyouth.org or contact email@example.com.