2401 Eglin St., Rapid City, SD 57703
(800) 416-8102

Northern Plains Reservation Aid®

Service Area: Northern Plains Reservations (includes MT, ND, SD, NE, and WA)

Due to the high rates of poverty and joblessness in remote reservation communities in the Northern Plains, many Native Americans struggle to access the necessities of life. Additionally, Native Americans endure a legacy of healthcare disparities, leading to disproportionate disease rates. The Northern Plains Reservation Aid® (NPRA) program helps to ease some of these hardships through our food and water, emergency, health, and holiday support services.

We work with Program Partners who volunteer their time and efforts to help their community members and, in turn, support our vision of strong, self-sufficient Native American communities.

Services Offered

NPRA helps meet immediate needs and support long-term solutions through our food and water, emergency, health, and holiday support service pillars.

Elders facing poverty, lack of transportation and health issues often worry about having enough food to get through the month. Our breakfast service helps eligible Rosebud Elders, age 62 and over, start each day with a healthy meal at home. The Elders use Breakfast-in-a-Bag vouchers at the Allstop Grocery in Rosebud to shop at no cost for items such as eggs, sausage, cereal, milk, juice, fruit and bread.

Elder Nutrition Centers (ENCs) and soup kitchens provide Native American Elders with hot lunches five days a week to ensure healthy, balanced meals. Although the ENCs may receive Federal funding, food supplies often run low by the end of the month, so the NPRA Food Service provides staple foods to help ensure the Elders do not go hungry.

The NPRA Thanksgiving Service provides Native American Elders with enough food to feed a family of 6, so they can enjoy a nutritious and uplifting holiday meal at home without stress. The food is delivered to our Program Partners in refrigerated trucks. Elders can then pick up their boxes from the partner or have them delivered to their home if volunteers are available.

NPRA supports community-wide emergency preparedness efforts. We assist individual Tribal communities with planning, training, preparation, resource and response strategies to mitigate disasters or environmental emergencies. We also build capacity through training on CPR/First Aid and AAED, fire and smoke safety, life skills and more.

During the winter, many Elders living in remote Tribal lands lack access to resources like food and fuel to heat their homes. NPRA provides winter fuel vouchers to help cut the cost of winter heating for Northern Plains Elders. The voucher amounts vary each year and help Elders lower the cost of their electric, propane, or natural gas bill.

This training is designed for professional cooks, cook aids and local practitioners working in K-12 schools, ENCs and soup kitchens. Designed around a six-month cohort focused on healthy cooking, food as medicine and Native food history, it equips participants to prepare healthier meals and train others to do the same – building capacity within the community.

Retail shopping is limited on the reservations, so NPRA and our Program Partners step in to make the holidays brighter. Thanks to our generous donors and an army of local volunteers, we distribute Holiday stockings to thousands of Native children each year. In their stocking, each child receives a toy plus practical gifts like mittens, pencils, crayons and coloring books, and a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Quotes From Past Recipients

It’s great when we get water because Elders ask for it. Sometimes we run out of supplies.

Heather, South Dakota

Chii miigwech- Thank you for relief sent to the shore of Lake Superior, experiencing floods that has taken out roads and bridges and is isolating families, destroyed houses and took the resources of food and necessities for these families. Thank you for sending relief goods. They were urgently needed and will be greatly appreciated.

Community Member of Bad River Tribe

I needed the [Winter Fuel] voucher because it costs too much money to get propane, and I’m the only one in the house with income. You work, but you really don’t have a paycheck. It’s a challenge keeping up on bills.

Audrey, South Dakota


In 2019, nearly one in six AIAN families (16%) were living below the federal poverty level (26% for families with children under age 5). In comparison, one in 15 (less than 6%) of White families are living below poverty (less than 10% with children under age 18).
Only 26% of Native communities are within one mile from a supermarket, compared to 59% of all people living in the U.S. Native Americans are more likely to face hunger.
Food and water shortages exist year-round on the reservations, with 23% of Native families facing food insecurity.
Mainstream news coverage of disasters on the reservation is low, meaning outside aid is slow to come.
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