Grateful Oglala Elder Shares the Holiday Spirit 

One way that Partnership With Native Americans® (PWNA) addresses food insecurity on remote reservations is through our Northern Plains Reservation Aid® (NPRA) program, which offers a Thanksgiving Individual Meal Bag service. Trusted Program Partners like Curtis C. on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota receive holiday meal basics like turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce to distribute to Elders. 71-year-old Oglala Sioux Elder Arlene T. donated her NPRA turkey back to the Pass Creek District Elderly Nutrition Center so that everyone could enjoy the smell of roasted turkey. 

Grateful Oglala Elder Shares the Holiday Spirit 

Almost 100 billion pounds of food go to waste each year in America, yet many Native Elders struggle to keep their plates full. One way that Partnership With Native Americans® (PWNA) addresses food insecurity on remote reservations is through our Northern Plains Reservation Aid® (NPRA) program, which offers a Thanksgiving Individual Meal Bag service. Trusted Program Partners like Curtis on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota receive holiday meal basics like turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce to distribute to Elders.  

Thanksgiving is an important time for connecting with family and sharing gratitude and generosity. Curtis C., who operates the Pass Creek District Elderly Nutrition Center (ENC), was pleased to share the food on behalf of NPRA. He told us, “It felt good to call the Elders and let them know the food was here and see the looks on their face. They really enjoyed that. A lot of Elders are taking care of grandkids and are limited on buying stuff for the holidays. [NPRA] is the only program where we can get donations like this for our Elders.” 

Curtis added that many Elders prefer roasted turkey, because it reminds them of holidays past. He noted, “A lot of traditions are lost now, but some of us try to carry it on.” 

71-year-old Oglala Sioux Elder Arlene T. donated her NPRA turkey back to the ENC so that everyone could enjoy the smell of roasted turkey. She remembered Thanksgiving growing up when her mom also roasted the bird, and told us, “I was happy to get the turkey. What’s being given to us is appreciated.”  

With only one market in town and grocery costs on the rise, Arlene eats at the ENC every chance she gets, so she was happy to share her food with other Elders. Between the main course and all the fixings, Arlene estimated that she saved $100.  

Arlene’s main concern for the holiday is making sure her family members can travel, as it’s common for unruly winter storms to force road closures in town. The weather also affects her job as a Community Health Representative, which leads her all over the district to provide essential services for her tribe. 

Arlene and other Native Elders are thankful this holiday season for the kindness of NPRA donors. Send your most generous gift to Elders by donating to NPRA today. 

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