Summer Help for Oglala Elders

High temperatures increase the risk of heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and flooding. To help prepare Native Elders on rural reservations where outside help is often slow to come, the Summer Emergency Boxes provided by Partnership With Native Americans’ (PWNA) Sioux Nation Relief Fund (SNRF) program allows partners to distribute much-needed supplies. Oglala Elder Arlene received a summer box filled with helpful items such as water, sunscreen, hygiene products, and nonperishable food. “With the cost of everything so high on the reservation, I want to thank the donors for helping us out,” Arlene shared.

Summer Help for Oglala Elders

High temperatures increase the risk of heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and flooding. On rural reservations where outside help is often slow to come, this leaves Native Elders vulnerable in the event of a storm or outage. To help them be prepared, the Summer Emergency Boxes provided by the Sioux Nation Relief Fund (SNRF) program of Partnership With Native Americans (PWNA) allow partners to distribute much-needed supplies to their Elders. These boxes contain helpful items such as water, sunscreen, hygiene products, and nonperishable food.

Our Program Partner Curtis runs the Allen Elderly Nutrition Center (ENC) on the Pine Ridge Reservation and recently distributed 146 SNRF summer boxes to those in need.

Oglala Elder Arlene is one beneficiary and was excited to see all the new supplies in her Summer Emergency Box. “The laundry stuff, lotion, and definitely the food – these are so expensive and hard for us to get, especially the big containers,” she explained. To shop, Arlene drives 17 miles to Martin. “There’s only one grocery store, and that’s where we all shop. They don’t have a lot of these items,” she told us.

Arlene estimates a savings of $60 thanks to the summer box. The hygiene and food items will benefit her entire household of five, including two children.

With rising food costs, Arlene eats at the ENC every chance she gets. She also appreciated the canned goods from her summer box, like green beans and corn. “I’ll eat the Vienna sausage as a snack and add the vegetables to the soup,” she pointed out.

Growing up gardening with her parents and working as a Community Health Representative for 42 years, Arlene knows the importance of proper nutrition. “I really watch what I eat, because I don’t want to be diabetic,” she said. Native adults are almost three times more likely than non-Hispanic White adults to be diagnosed with diabetes, and summer box items help Elders fill their plates with healthy food.

Arlene shared with donors: “With the cost of everything so high on the reservation, I want to thank the donors for helping us out. Some Elders don’t work and have a hard time, so this will really come in handy for them. I’m really thankful, and I appreciate it very much.”

Donate to SNRF today to help Native Elders like Arlene get a helping hand.

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