The majority of people in the Omaha Nation express a desire for greater local access to fresh produce, according to a report released by the Center for Rural Affairs and the Omaha Nation community.
“Digging In: Supporting a Healthy, Sustainable Food Future in Omaha Nation,” examines the state of the food system on the Omaha Reservation in northeast Nebraska.
The report identifies strategies toward realizing a food system that meets the needs of its people and includes details on the study area; data relating to health, economics, culture, and the food system; and input from community members.
“The Omaha Nation community is working hard to improve health and economic outlooks,” said Kathie Starkweather, Farm and Community director at the Center for Rural Affairs. “By asserting a desire to rebuild a self-sufficient food system, they will create a healthier community, revitalize traditional foods, and develop a more resilient Nation.”
Key findings of the report include:
- In Macy, 61.1 percent of all families and 66.2 percent of all people live below the poverty line.
- More than 80 percent of respondents travel on average 62 miles roundtrip to do the majority of their grocery shopping.
- More than 54 percent of participants expressed a desire for greater local access to fresh produce, with 78 percent of respondents indicating better food would improve health for their families.
The community has worked with Nebraska Indian Community College (NICC) and the Center for Rural Affairs since 2011 through a community foods project, with a goal of bringing fresh foods and healthy eating back to the Omaha Reservation, including the communities of Macy and Walthill.
For more information and to view “Digging In: Supporting a Healthy, Sustainable Food Future in Omaha Nation,” visit cfra.org/publications/DiggingInOmaha.
Feature photo: In a recent report, the Center for Rural Affairs found 82 percent of residents on the Omaha Reservation in northeast Nebraska indicated they would be willing to devote time and energy to learning about food traditions. Here, tribal members attend a workshop on Indian corn processing. | Photo by Rhea Landholm