Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Running Strong for American Indian Youth Delivers 22 Tons of Food to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Native American community to receive 44,200 lbs. of groceries for COVID-19 relief


ALEXANDRIA, VA – Today, Running Strong for American Indian Youth delivered 44,200 pounds of shelf stable food to Running Strong’s field office Tipi Waste Un Zanipi (Wellness Through A Good Home) on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The special delivery was an act of COVID-19 relief for 1,700 families.

Food insecurity is a prevalent issue in remote rural communities, and Native American reservations face especially taxing conditions as tribal authorities take measures to fight the spread of illness during the coronavirus crisis. Many have restricted travel beyond the reservation, and limited trips to already-scarce grocery stores.

"It’s a scary time out here on the plains because our resources are an hour away in each direction,” said Dave Lone Elk, Running Strong’s Field Coordinator. “Groceries are hard to come by too. I think this shipment is going to make a big difference in helping people get through the next couple months.”

Each of the 1,700 food boxes delivered to Tipi Waste contain 26 pounds of shelf stable fruit, vegetables, protein and grains. One box is designed to feed two meals a day for a family of four for two weeks, and all boxes will be distributed from Tipi Waste in their entirety by utilizing a contactless drive-up/drive-through system. The delivery was made by a specialized transportation service to ensure as few points of contact as possible during the route and was approved by Oglala Sioux Tribe authorities to be delivered straight to the warehouse and distributed after a mandatory two-day disinfecting period.

In response to community need on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Running Strong built Tipi Waste Un Zanipi in 1997. This was followed by a 1,280 sq. foot addition in 2017 in addition to a loading dock. Tipi Waste Un Zanipi is also the distribution hub for the annual Heat Match, annual winter clothes distribution, the headquarters for Running Strong water connections, and more seasonal programs.

Running Strong for American Indian Youth works to help Native American communities with immediate survival needs. To learn more about our programs visit the Running Strong site at or contact


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