Full On Thanksgiving

Food access is hard for Elders on remote reservations. As one of many ways to offset food insecurity, the Northern Plains Reservation Aid® (NPRA) program of Partnership With Native Americans® (PWNA)  offers a Thanksgiving Individual Meal service for Elders in need. Our Program Partner’s assistant, Tashina S., recently home-delivered Thanksgiving meal bags to families on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. One beneficiary was 73-year-old Eunice L., who said it’s expensive to get these ingredients even at distant stores. She’ll use the money saved to buy her grandson a new coat. 

Full on Thanksgiving 

The rate of hunger among seniors has increased 65%, according to a 2021 study from Medicare Advantage, and food access is even harder for Elders on remote reservations in the service area of Partnership With Native Americans® (PWNA). As one of many ways to offset food insecurity, PWNA’s Northern Plains Reservation Aid® (NPRA) program offers a Thanksgiving Individual Meal service for Elders in need.  

Our Program Partner’s assistant, Tashina S., recently received NPRA Thanksgiving Individual Meals for distribution on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Included were a giant turkey, cranberry sauce, potatoes, and stuffing.  

We went with Tashina to home-deliver some of the meals and hear how much the food helped. She shared, “It feels good to know that they got food, so they didn’t go without. Every little bit helps.” 

Elder Marlene K. accepted her donated turkey with excitement, saying, “I really wanted one of these!” 

Participant Connie T. raises two of her grandchildren and was grateful to have enough food for Thanksgiving.  

Another beneficiary, Judy R., was relieved to have a Thanksgiving meal after no luck finding a turkey. She told us, “I couldn’t find one locally, and it’s expensive at stores further away.” 

Oglala Sioux Elder Eunice L., age 73, also received a Thanksgiving meal. She exclaimed, “It feels good! Having this meal saves money and gives me a chance to cook it up and share with others. It’s really expensive on the reservation.” Eunice estimated that it would have cost $60 to get the ingredients at the local store. With the money saved, she’ll buy a winter coat for her 14-year-old grandson.  

Transportation is a challenge for Eunice, who doesn’t drive and relies on her sister to take her to work. Eunice spends her life teaching others, a trait she picked up from her mom. Even after retiring, Eunice couldn’t stay away. She teaches Life Skills to special education students at the local school and noted, “I was used to doing things and couldn’t stand staying home. It’s going well. I just love working with my students.”  

After surviving a severe medical issue, Eunice stays in good health and hopes to stay that way. She told us, “I do a lot of praying.” 

PWNA and its NPRA program provide relief from food insecurity to Elders like Eunice, and your donation ensures Native families can celebrate Thanksgiving along with the rest of America. 

 

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