COLVILLE INDIAN AGENCY – Food Insecurity is an issue that millions of people face worldwide.
The same is no different for a vast amount of citizens in the United States.
A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated that 1 in 9 Americans were food insecure in 2018, equating to over 37 million Americans, of which more than 11 million were children.
Now you may be asking yourself what exactly is food insecurity?
The USDA defines food insecurity as, “a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.”
Merriam-Webster’s definition of food insecure: unable to consistently access or afford adequate food.
This particular issue is one that Colville Tribal member Macoti Fox has become very passionate about.
“We wanted to tackle the problem of food sovereignty and food equity within Native American lands,” says Fox. “What we see is the problem of food deserts being present on Native American country where people don’t have the access to healthy organic foods on a convenient basis. We wanted to address that.”
Fox has the chance to tackle the issue where he grew up on the Colville Indian Reservation.
“We are in partnership through a tribal resolution with the Colville Indian Housing Authority (CIHA) to make this a reality,” he said.
Currently working as a Tribal Engagement Officer for the Colville Confederated Tribes, Fox has been working alongside Sanjay Rajan to bring a new avenue of healthy, nutritious foods.
Rajan is the Founder and CEO of Konbit, a public benefit corporation enabling food sovereignty and equity in Native American Lands.
And just recently Konbit received an SBIR Phase 1 USDA NIFA grant to pilot the Regenerative Renaissance –Planet, People, Prosperity, Together. ™ Business model for the Colville Confederated Tribes at the White Buffalo Housing Project at the Colville Indian Agency.
“We wanted to be able to create a community micro farms,” says Fox. “Essentially allowing social and culture entrepreneurs, people who know both or who have a interest in gardening or food production.”
Konbit fosters cultural hubs through a network of community farms along with their smart farming digital platform. By localizing year-round nutrient, dense food production, Konbit empowers indigenous social entrepreneurs, building resiliency in the community, kindling pride and spreading prosperity.
“One farm can create six jobs, can feed 100 people healthy, nutrient dense food’ said Rajan. “So you’re getting fresh local food.”
Fox and Rajan are hoping to break ground on the Micro community farm project this mid-July as ground has already been cleared for two geodesic infrastructures or mini-domes.