Newman’s Own Foundation, founded by the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman, today announced the formation of a Native American Nutrition Cohort, comprised of nine nonprofit organizations that focus on fresh food access and nutrition education in Native American communities around the country. The first convening is May 8 and 9 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
This is the second Nutrition Cohort formed by Newman’s Own Foundation, aimed at creating greater impact through peer learning and collaboration. The focus is on Native American communities, since food insecurity is especially severe among this population. Recent data suggest that 23% of Native households don’t have access to adequate food due to lack of money or other resources. Insufficient access to fresh and healthy food options leads to health-related problems, and up to 50 percent of Native AIAN (American Indian and Alaska Native) children are overweight or obese by the time they turn 10, the highest prevalence of any racial/ethnic group.
Newman’s Own Foundation is providing $1.5 million in grants over two years to 10 organizations serving the Native American community, and nine will participate in the Nutrition Cohort. It’s part of more than $4.3 million in nutrition grants awarded in the last year.
“Supporting these organizations reflects our long-time commitment of providing fresh food access and nutrition education for children and families, especially in underserved communities,” said Bob Forrester, President and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation. “Too little attention has been paid to the Native American population and organizations serving those communities that are in the best position to know the real needs and how to address them.”
Funding for each of the nonprofit organizations will help them address various needs in their communities, such as nutritious food access, nutrition education, guidance on healthy diets and food preparation, and organic gardening training. Participants in the Nutrition Cohort will convene several times over two years to share expertise and gain valuable insight from each other.
The peer learning model Cohort that Newman’s Own Foundation developed is aimed at helping to extend the benefits of experience beyond the individual reservations to other tribes. The innovative approach facilitates relationship-building and collaboration, and it provides leadership and organizational development opportunities. It is an innovative, nonprescriptive approach that is grantee-driven, rather than funder-driven, allowing participants to steer the direction and better serve their specific needs.
The nonprofit organizations receiving funding as part of this Native American Nutrition Cohort are:
- American Indian Cancer Foundation (Minneapolis, MN)
- Center for Rural Affairs (Lyons, NE)
- Dakota Rural Action (Brookings, SD)
- MoGro a project of the Santa Fe Community Foundation (Santa Fe, NM)
- Painted Desert Demonstration Projects, Inc. (AKA Star School) (Flagstaff, AZ)
- Partnership with Native Americans (Addison, TX)
- Running Strong for Native American Youth (Alexandria, VA)
- Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation (Porcupine, SD)
- Zuni Youth Enrichment Project (Zuni, NM)
Newman’s Own Foundation has been supporting food and nutrition programs for more than 35 years and has a long-standing commitment to help improve the well-being of children and families.