Rural, Remote and Native American Communities

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Our Rural, Remote and Native American Communities work emerged from discussions with our national, state and local partners. Rural and remote communities face a number of unique and complex challenges in their ability to address food insecurity and healthy food access. Hunger and poverty are more prevalent in rural America, exacerbated by the geographic spread, low population density, lack of infrastructure, and limited availability of healthy affordable food. Rural America is also undergoing significant demographic changes, including an aging population, rising population of immigrants, out-migration of young families, and growing racial and ethnic diversity.

Despite these challenges, rural communities also have many important assets, including proximity to local farms, greater access to government officials, and a strong sense of community.

The pilot program was a groundbreaking national initiative focused on strengthening the charitable response to hunger. For this initial effort, MAZON guided nine rural partners in leveraging their strengths and developing the knowledge and skills necessary to maximize their ability to create hunger-free communities. MAZON provided training and technical assistance in several critical areas – leadership and management; fundraising; communications; community partnerships; and advocacy – as well as financial support to enable their progress and growth in these areas.

Current Effort

Building on what we learned from the pilot, the next phase will involve working with federal and state policymakers to develop long-term solutions that have the power to impact the greatest possible number of rural and remote communities.

A second part involves partnering with two Native American-led organizations to address the devastatingly high rates of hunger among Native American communities. For this initial effort, MAZON is collaborating on a landmark effort that will establish a comprehensive legal framework for the food and agriculture sector in Indian Country, and empower Native nations to create self-sustaining, healthier, and food secure communities.

Impact Story

St. Jude Food Bank, Tuba City, Arizona

“With your guidance, support and partnership, our food bank has developed into an even more dynamic member of our community. We’ve joined a local health coalition addressing obesity, diabetes, poor nutrition and food insecurity and increasing indigenous food education and access in the Western Navajo Nation, Western Hopi Lands and Southern Paiute Reservations.” 

Impact Story

Jackson County Food Bank, McKee, KY

“The training we received on Leadership and Development and Fundraising inspired the Board Vice President to reach out to the business community for additional corporate donations, and seek new individual donors in order to increase our revenue. Along with an increase in revenue, the peer-to-peer networking was invaluable. We developed long-lasting partnerships with other anti-hunger organizations across the country which allows us to learn and share with each other.”