Hunkpati Investments, Inc. established the Crow Creek Fresh Food Initiative (CCFFI) to grow healthy children and communities through educational programs and activities that connect tribal youth and families with food – from seed to table.
Hunkpati worked to create the initiative with support from a First Nations grant, underwritten by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
In 2012, the initiative recruited 51 tribal youth from the Boys and Girls Club’s Crow Creek Unit to help plant, harvest, sell and donate more than 350 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables from nearly 30 individual and community garden plots. As a result of these efforts, CCFFI donated approximately $600 worth of food from these gardens to children, families and elders across the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation in South Dakota.
Additionally, they sold another $400 worth of produce at their farmers market. Undoubtedly, this initiative has helped promote healthy eating and active living in this community. The benefits of this program, however, extend well beyond health and nutrition, as tribal youth also participated in a youth IDA (Individual Development Account) match-savings and financial education program. As a result of this component of the program, two participants, Sara Rockwood and TaShawna Medicine Crow, developed and implemented their own summer food business: “Fresh Grown Goodies.”
Sara and TaShawna prepared, canned and sold jams, jellies and salsas they made with food from the CCFI community garden. They sold their products over the summer at a local farmers market and then deposited their profits into a Teen IDA savings account for future use.
This innovative initiative demonstrates the profound potential that can be found at the intersection of youth, land, agriculture and entrepreneurship.
Submitted by Hunkpati Investments