Healthy Eating with Traditional Foods

College of Menominee Nation joins with the University of Wisconsin’s FoodWIse nutritional education program to support food sovereignty

By Native Science Report News Staff

The College of Menominee Nation’s main campus is located in Keshena, WI. Photo: Royalbroil, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The College of Menominee Nation is partnering with the University of Wisconsin-Madison in a supplemental food program education effort to support youth and their families in learning more about Menominee food ways. The program will also feature opportunities to make connections to Menominee language and culture through healthy foods.

The partnership between the college and the university’s division of Extension FoodWIse program, announced in late April, follows three decades of nutritional education offered to the Menominee Nation.

“I believe this is what our community needs now as well as our future generations—strength through knowledge and healthy options,” said Lizette Bailey, the college’s nutrition outreach coordinator.

The partnership will give Bailey more resources to share the FoodWIse goal of advancing healthy eating habits, active lifestyles and healthy community environments for families with limited incomes through nutrition education at the individual, community and systems levels. FoodWIse currently serves about 50,000 individuals in the state of Wisconsin, with federal funding provided via the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.

Wisconsin’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education, known as SNAP-Ed, features curriculum materials such “Eat Right When Money’s Tight,” “Preventing Food Poisoning” and “Gardening Basics.”

The assistance program now allows those receiving the assistance to apply their allocations to farmers markets purchases. This, in turn, allows community members to purchase fresh and sometimes traditional foods that might be challenging to find in supermarkets while also supporting local farmers in food sovereignty efforts.

Kathryn Boryc Smock, FoodWIse’s state program manager, called the College of Menominee Nation “a leader in supporting food sovereignty in the community.”

Story published May 21, 2024

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