CASS LAKE, Minn. – It might be hard to imagine that preparing your own meals is a skill. That's exactly what was being asked of the Leech Lake Food Distribution.
“When we asked people and kids on a wide scale what they wanted, they were asking for people to teach them how to cook. How to preserve things. They were not learning that,” said Amanda Shongo. “They were asking how to eat healthier, prepare better meals, go searching for wild rice.”
Shongo works with the food distribution center. She says it serves more than 300 families per week on the Leech Lake Reservation in Cass County.
“We have a lot of amazing things here, a lot of wonderful things. But the poverty and chain of parents teaching younger kids, that’s kind of been lost. That is also a reality.”
The center helps bring meals to families in need. In an effort to expand its reach and help teach the skills to a younger generation, a student in one of the survey groups suggested a food truck and mobile kitchen creating a traveling work space where the skills can be learned.
With the help of the Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund and the Shakopee Mdwakanton Sioux Community, the center received a $100,000 grant to help fund the truck.
“It’s a priority that we make every kid feel secure on this reservation when it comes to meals,” said Leroy Staples, District 3 Representative for Leech Lake.
The truck will be fitted with commercial kitchen equipment and roll out later this year.
The donation is part of the 52 weeks of giving campaign giving back to kids programs in 52 communities around Minnesota in conjunction with Super Bowl 52.