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Food Security

The Navajo Nation, spanning 17 billion acres, grapples with severe food insecurity due to several challenges. Limited access to clean water, unreliable electricity and communication services, pervasive poverty, and high unemployment rates compound this crisis. Additionally, with only around 13 grocery stores serving roughly 175,000 people, obtaining basic provisions entails arduous journeys of over an hour one way. These challenges intertwine, leaving many families struggling to access essential food supplies and highlighting the urgent need for comprehensive solutions to address food insecurity in the Navajo Nation.

Volunteers Packing Food

What WeDo

  • We collaborate with local food services in the McKinley County surrounding areas to enhance access to essential provisions.

  • We offer mutual aid resources to support individuals and families facing food insecurity.

  • We actively engage with New Mexico's inaugural food and agriculture group, fostering partnerships for sustainable solutions.

McKinley Access to Healthy Food

Information provided by W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grant.

Food – Working with NM First’s food and agriculture group. Focus areas for NMSJEI include pre-school gardens, healthy soil, community farms, and solar. Sunshine is building a learning center. They are working collaboratively with Spirit Farm and have learned how to compost, chickens, plant, harvest, make soap, sell produce and sheep and pig meat.  Many local residents purchase from Skeets Farm. We are also part of the NM First Community Town Hall Planning team, also the NM First Food, Ag, and Water Working Group.  They have helped us with information for the farmers and water users. 

  • Provided food literacy training to 10 families.

  • Increased participation rates by 5% by nurturing relationship building through family and healthy food-centered events.

  • 12 Focus groups held on how to recruit more volunteers from communities we work within Gallup/McKinley

  • 24 Outreach activities held with Indigenous Lifeways, Health Earth Summit, Strong Families, Somos Gallup, McKinley Health Council for base building for healthy food access as a health promotions community outreach and food delivery

  • 7 Community members participated in healthy soil workshops and ancestral healthy foods.

  • Strengthened long-term relationships with Shima Learning Center, Work in Beauty and Skeets Farm. (How do you know?) attendance at the online webinars is well attended, we are connecting and informing our networks to assess the interest in farming, seed saving, making compost, and gardening.  

  • 10 Families have increased health food knowledge and individual life skills. . (How do you know?) Attend food and healthy soil workshops on Facebook Live with Shima Learning Center.  We have been working to find the funds to expand their work with local farmers.

  • The farmers have monthly calls and we stay updated on the various food justice initiatives.

  • List priority communities/populations worked with: Navajo, Zuni, Immigrant, and unsheltered relatives in Gallup, McKinley County

  • 40 parents and youth/children educating decision-makers on issues of importance to them

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