Mobile market to bring produce to Native AmericansA multi-state agriculture organization is starting up a mobile service that will bring fresh food to Native American reservations across the upper Midwest.
By: By Steve Roisum, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A multi-state agriculture organization is starting up a mobile service that will bring fresh food to Native American reservations across the upper Midwest.
The vehicle will be part farmers' market and part grocery store. The project, sponsored by the Intertribal Agricultural Council, will begin by serving a handful of reservations in northern Wisconsin and northern Minnesota in May. Along with supplying fresh, nutritional food, project leader Dan Cornelius says the "store on wheels" will give gardeners a chance to make extra money by selling their produce on several reservations, “I think it had a lot of potential in terms of creating an intertribal food distribution network across the region. Trying to build more collaborations more partnerships. I think it will be exciting to see how it develops over time.”
The project has at least one supporter in Ho Chunk Nation President John Greendeer. The tribe has land in several counties in Wisconsin, instead of one centralized area. Greendeer says he likes the idea of a mobile store. He says reservations need easier access to fresh fruits and vegetables, “You’re looking at upwards of 17% of native people that have diabetes, when you look at other different individual tribal communities, that number goes up to a quarter, over 25%.”
Dan Cornelius says he hopes the food distribution network will eventually serve all 34 federal recognized Native American Tribes in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan.