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Native food drive serves Indigenous food, elders

Native food drive serves Indigenous food, elders
Native food drive serves Indigenous food, elders 01:58

MINNEAPOLIS – More than 150 native elders in Minnesota are getting a traditional holiday meal courtesy of the Division of Indian Work in Minneapolis.

The group handed out meal baskets complete with everything from basics to bison and walleye Tuesday.

Serving natives from Leech Lake, White Earth, Red Lake and more, Tuesday's giveaway specifically served elders, those over age 55.

"I enjoy the job because I know that I help people," said Food Shelf Manager Sandra Rivera. "Maybe if I can help them with milk and eggs, that money they save, if it doesn't go to additional food at the grocery store, it can maybe pay their light bill."

The Division of Indian Work says demand for its food shelf has risen more than 40% in the past year.  

"There's a lot of factors to that, especially the cost of food right now," said Site Director Shanah Regguinti. "Even someone who's well off, or making decent money, when they go to the Cub [Foods] or Target, even they are shaking their head at the prices. So imagine someone who's in low income, they're struggling."

"The prices in groceries has gone up so high. And for elders, you know, it's difficult to feed ourselves now," said Leech Lake Ojibwe Elder Peggy Greene. "For the holidays, it's nice to have a meal like other people have at home."

The Division of Indian Work says it's still in need of donations to its food shelf. The organization plans to give away even more meals during the Easter season.

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