West Navajo Nation Local Food Businesses Development Program
It is North Leupp Family Farm's (NLFF) ultimate goal to develop a regional food hub on the West Navajo Indian Reservation. The food hub will incorporate existing farming ground, green houses, food processing and packaging, storage, market and retail space, food transportation/mobile market, and the infrastructure required to operate and manage the facility. The food hub will provide the resources and incentives for Natives to start and grow small food businesses. It also serves as a place for community gatherings that promote and preserve Navajo tradition and culture. The work proposed in this program is a meaningful step toward the development of the Native American food hub, which offers a solution to improve food security and community self-reliance in the historically underserved Navajo communities.
The grant funding will be used to (i) expand the community food market - “Sunrise Market” to support aggregation and direct marketing healthy food to Navajo residents; (ii) build a produce washing stationto prepare farm products for sale; (iii) add a walk-in cold storage and ice machine at Sunrise Market; (iv) expand the existing solar power system to support the development; (v) sponsor educational workshops presenting the economic and cultural benefits that will result with the development of local food businesses; and (vi) provide direct technical assistance and training on business planning/management, grant writing, and business accounting for the benefit of small and emerging Native American business enterprises.
NLFF’s mission is “to develop and present comprehensive solutions to address deficiencies in community food system, encourage healthy lifestyles, and improve food security through partnerships with local food producers, schools, and business entities.” Driven by the mission, NLFF has identified the program goals and objectives and developed the performance criteria/measures as the followings.
Goal/Obj. #1: Develop new market opportunities for local food producers; better serve local food markets; improve the food security and self-sufficiency of the low-income rural communities.
Goal/Obj. #2: Promote and stimulate the development of small and emerging Native American food businesses by providing technical assistance and training on business planning, business management, business accounting, food safety, value-added processing, and other related subjects.
Goal/Obj. #3: Bring more returns to food producers; create jobs and business opportunities in West Navajo Nation.
Goal/Obj. #4: Create a new access to heathy and affordable food on West Navajo Reservation. Increase the production and domestic consumption of locally produced foods in the communities.
Goal/Obj. #5: Preserve Navajo identity, tradition, and culture through promotion of farming and traditional food consumption.