2401 Eglin St., Rapid City, SD 57703 |  
(800) 416-8102 | info@nativepartnership.org 

Southwest Reservation Aid®

Service Area: Southwest Reservations (includes AZ, NM, UT, and CA)

The Southwest Reservation Aid® Program provides food, water, health products, and emergency services for Native American Elders, families, and children in need living on reservations in the Southwest. Due to the high rates of poverty, joblessness, and lack of resources in these remote areas, many Native Elders struggle to access the necessities of life. Additionally, Native Americans endure a legacy of healthcare disparities, leading to disproportionate disease rates. SWRA services help to ease some of these hardships. All services involve members from the Tribal communities we serve. These volunteers, along with our Program Partners, give their time and efforts to help their communities and in turn support our vision of strong, self-sufficient Native American communities.  

Services Offered

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 SWRA Food Service provides staple foods to help ensure Elders do not go hungry.

  

The SWRA Thanksgiving Service provides Native American Elders with a food box containing a turkey and all the fixings – enough food to feed a family of 6 – so they can enjoy a nutritious and uplifting holiday meal at home without stress.

Indian Health Services (IHS) clinics are inadequate and too distant for many reservation residents to access. In response, Tribal health programs offer preventative care, home health visits, and health education for Tribal members. We support Tribal health partners via the Healthy Living service, impacting the quality of life for 200,000 Native Americans each year with educational materials and incentives such as toilet paper, toothpaste, toothbrushes, lotion, soaps, cleaning supplies and more.

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

SWRA supports community-wide emergency preparedness efforts to assist 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, AED, fire and smoke safety, life skills, and more.

Winters can be brutal on the reservation and access to goods and service is limited which poses an additional problem when emergencies arise. The Winter Box service provides Elders with basic necessities such as non-perishable food, candles, gloves, hats, blankets, water, flashlights, batteries and more to help prepare them for the winter months.

The SWRA Winter Fuel Service assists Native Elders who are at risk of being without heat in the winter by providing vouchers to help lower the cost of their electric, propane, or natural gas bill.

Holiday services through our SWRA program help reservation Program Partners spread holiday cheer at times when many families are experiencing more stress and disenfranchisement. Our holiday stockings for Elders are filled with practical items such as gloves, lotion, soap, crossword puzzles, books, batteries, socks, and more to meet immediate needs and provide relief through the holiday season.

Quotes From Past Recipients

[The donors] don’t know how much it empowers us people, especially someone like me who is a single parent taking on five people in the home and doesn’t get any extra [financial support], but we’re making it. It lets us know there are still people there who care and want to help other people who are less fortunate or are really trying to make it. It’s a helping hand, and it feels nice. Not too many people want to do that. Thank you, I appreciate it so much.

Elena, Fort Yuma

Some of these guys are financially going through a lot, especially when they’re living out in remote areas, and this is their only resource where they can take a shower or get supplies

Queenie, Kayenta Senior Center Arizona

What [donors] give out really helps, and thanks for the donations to the Elders!

Frances, Tohono O’odham Nation

STATS

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.
30% of the Navajo Nation lacks access to running water and must haul water. 22% can only access water by hauling it.
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