The new Farm Bill is a boost to agriculture but comes with a price that will hurt Native Americans and other U.S. families and leave nutrition experts worried about the end result.
- President Obama will soon sign into law an $8 billion cut to food stamps over the next 10 years. Now known as SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), food stamps are said to be the largest “domestic hunger safety net,” assisting millions of low-income individuals and families. The cuts to EBT food stamps will affect 20% of American Indian households, according to the National Congress of American Indians. SNAP cuts will affect 540,000 Native Americans every month, according to federal estimates.
- Another federal program known as FDPIR (Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations) distributes USDA foods through the tribes to low-income families on reservations. The 2013 federal shutdown and new federal rules drove up FDPIR participation by tribes. Now, roughly half of federally recognized tribes participate: 275 of 566. FDPIR cuts will affect about 80,000 Native American households every month.
- Households may not participate in DFPIR and SNAP in the same month – and both programs have been cut. Nutrition-related disease rates for Native Americans already surpass those of other ethnic groups in the U.S. Where does it end?
Other dietary changes forced on Native Americans are revealed in this video, Dakota Life – Native Gardens. In it, Aubrey Skye of the Standing Rock Reservation and a Program Partner for our Project Grow initiative, talks about nutrition, obesity and diabetes and how it all started for indigenous peoples. The video first aired on South Dakota PBS in January, 2011.