The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) awarded the Notah Begay III Foundation a $1 million grant to strengthen its work to reduce childhood obesity and Type 2 Diabetes among Native American communities, the foundation announced.
The grant will specifically fund a two-year national initiative called “Native Strong: Healthy Kids, Healthy Futures” that will center on investing in strategic grant-making, capacity building, technical assistance, research and advocacy alongside tribal communities and Native nonprofit organizations. The initial focus of the program will center in the southwest, upper Midwest and Southern Plains states.
“With one out of two Native American children expected to develop type 2 diabetes, a commitment like WKKF’s to Native American children… is a significant step in building the foundation needed to address this disease, as well as childhood obesity, throughout all tribal communities,” said Crystal Echo Hawk, the foundation’s executive director.
The funding will help strengthen the foundation’s work to develop community-driven solutions to increase access to healthy and affordable food in tribal communities, provide nutrition education and increase opportunities for physical activity.
Intervention for Native American children is much needed. While childhood obesity rates across the country are showing signs of improvement, in Native communities rates are actually increasing.