Food Recovery Journal
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
June 15, 2016
We Don’t Waste helps feed Pine Ridge Indian Reservation
The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, located in South Dakota, is home to the Oglala Sioux Tribe. The reservation is home to almost 40,000 Lakota people on over 2,000,000 acres of land. The Lakota people are in crippling poverty, unemployment is over 80% and many families go without food every day. We Don’t Waste first became involved with the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation when we were contacted by the local Nation to Nation group to see if we could help provide food for these marginalized peoples. Volunteers come to the office every week and load up more than 50,000 servings of food to help the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
The results of these efforts are vast and inspirational. Food provided by We Don’t Waste is distributed through a few different channels focusing on the elderly and children first. Meals are provided after church services, during ceremonial events and there are organized food give-aways for those in need. Some people who attend these events sometimes have not eaten for up to three days. Every month about 1,000 people are helped through these efforts. People on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation are very spread out on the vast area of the reservation, many cannot travel the large distances to receive food. Many efforts are being made to bring precious life giving resources closer to the people who need it. Even so, some walk three or four miles to get to food.
Pastor Dennis from Loveland, Colorado, who works directly with Nation to Nation and the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, summarized how the efforts have assisted the Lakota people.
“Here is the bottom line about We Don’t Waste. This statement is factual without embellishment or exaggeration — Hunger has been relieved for many, many people. Healthy foods have been provided. Diabetics specifically have received foods to promote better health. Children have not gone hungry. Elderly persons specifically have received meals within their district of Kyle and Allen Monday through Friday once per day, otherwise they wouldn’t have eaten. The direct healing of this Lakota Nation has begun to take hold. People have received hope.”
– Pastor Dennis Carlin of Loveland Bible Church
No one should go hungry. Native Americans have suffered so much and deserve our help – they deserve hope. We are extremely proud of the partnership and the dedication of Nation to Nation in helping an all-too-marginalized people.
More information about Nation to Nation on their website – http://www.pineridgenationtonation.org/