Engineering Consulting & Grant Administration
Painted Desert Regional Food Hub Development in Coconino County and Western Navajo Agency
Navajo Nation is the largest Native American reservation in United States. Nearly all of the reservation is designated as “Food Desert” by USDA where Navajo people face a health crisis due to limited access to fresh produce and healthy food products resulting in high rates of nutritionally-related illness. The adverse social, economic and environmental conditions on the reservation contribute to poor health, alcoholism, depression, suicide, high unemployment rates, and a poverty rate more than twice that of the State and the Country. Many of the issues faced today on the Navajo Nation can be directly attributed to an inadequate food system. Therefore, rural business development programs as described in this proposal promoting the development of the local food system are crucial to the wellbeing of the Navajo people.
Painted Desert Demonstration Projects, Inc. (PDDP) and its program partners propose to develop a Native American Regional Food Hub that will improve the current food system and will serve as a catalyst to spur economic development of food related business in the west Navajo communities such as Tolani Lake, Leupp, Birdsprings, and the surrounding rural areas in Coconino County and Navajo County. The overarching goal of this program is to increase the access, domestic consumption and affordability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products and traditional foods, and to develop new markets and economic opportunities for small food business, farms and ranches in Navajo Nation, while restoring the holistic wellbeing of Navajo people.
PDDP’s mission is “to inspire each other to do our best in service to all relations.” To fulfill their mission, the program will be guided and evaluated by the Goals listed below. These Goals also drive the performance criteria which will be used to monitor and ensure the success of the proposed program.
Goal #1: Develop a Native American Regional Food Hub to stimulate the development of small and emerging food businesses for the benefits of Native Americans in Northern Arizona.
Goal #2: Create new business and marketing opportunities for Native American entrepreneurs.
Goal #3: Improve the success rate of existing and new Native American businesses and ensure Native American’s self-reliance and self-sufficiency by improving business and job skills through technical assistance and training.
Goal #4: Create and save jobs by stimulating rural economic development in the Western Navajo Agency and Coconino County.
Goal #5: Preserve and promote Navajo culture, art, and language through outreach and public education.
Here are documents that will help interested A/E teams develop their proposals for the STAR School Local Food Store.