Pandemic foods: Edible weeds
Indian Country Today
Elizabeth Hoover, Micmac and Mohawk, is an associate professor of American Studies and Ethnic Studies at Brown University. She's also a member of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance.
She tells Indian Country Today about the impact the pandemic is having on food systems for Indian Country and how tribes are pushing for changes to government nutritional programs.
”We're hearing about increases in the number of families who are applying but also an increase in the amount of food that families are taking away. So there's a certain amount allotted and more people are taking that full amount than had been in the past.”
“People are looking to food banks, which are increasingly running out of supplies. They're looking at different mutual aid projects and there's a lot of grassroots projects that have popped up.”
“For example, in Minneapolis, you have the folks at the American Indian Center such as Brian Yazzie and some other chefs out of the Gatherings Cafe. There are a number of food feeding programs for different parts of the Native community that have been shut down."
“The Cheyenne River Youth Project in South Dakota has been creating meals for the youth that they work with. You have all of these community projects that are trying to step in and do that work of feeding folks that ordinarily would have gotten meals at different programs or schools or centers that have all been closed down now.”
“I think having food suddenly become less available has peaked the interest of some folks who might not have been as interested in these different grassroots projects. I'm hearing, especially from seed keepers and people running different projects that are part of the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network, that all of a sudden everybody's like, ‘Oh yeah, remember how you are always talking about seeds? Where can I get those seeds?’