GRANITE FALLS, MN – The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) Legacy Fund today awarded a $100,000 grant to the Upper Sioux Community (USC) to support and strengthen the community’s healthy foods initiative, Zani Woyute. The grant will benefit USC youth, their overall health and leadership, and foster the community’s food sovereignty initiative by expanding existing after-school and summer youth programming.
The grant is part of the Super Bowl Legacy Grant Program, which is made possible each year by a $1 million contribution courtesy of the NFL Foundation and is complemented by the Super Bowl Host Committee. Through its 52 Weeks of Giving campaign, the MNSBHC has launched a year-long effort to make Super Bowl LII a statewide event by awarding 52 communities with grants that will help improve the health and wellness of young people in Minnesota.
The Zani Woyute project goals are to increase awareness and involvement of where food comes from for youth; increase access to fresh and healthy foods; nurture young garden practitioners; and further capacity, effort and sustainability in USC food sovereignty. The grant will support gardening, cooking and preserving activities for summer youth and year-round after school programs. An intra-tribal collective approach will be used to optimize project delivery and sustainability.
“Zani Woyute – healthy foods – is embedded in Dakota values, language and traditions,” said Kevin Jensvold, Tribal Chairman, Upper Sioux Community. “We are excited to be able to further engage our youngest community members to foster the type of intentional and collaborative health and wellness initiatives that they, in turn, will lead one day. We’re thankful for the support of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee for providing the resources essential to increase the overall health and leadership of our community.”
The Upper Sioux Community anticipates this project will have significant impact on its small population, a very rural and socially and economically depressed area. The community is made up of conventional farms that produce corn, soybeans, factory farms. This project aligns with the tribe’s mission of providing culturally-based programs and services that preserve the Dakota traditions, promote and support education, healthy families and a diversified and growing economy, leading to increased self-esteem and self-sufficiency for individual community members and the Upper Sioux Community, Pezihutazizi Oyate.
Leaders, community members and children of the Upper Sioux Community gathered with Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund members to celebrate the grant at a special dedication event today. The event included singing, prayer and a youth drum circle, followed by a traditional Native tea and healthy smoothie making activity for attending children and community members.
“Helping youth establish lifelong healthy habits is core to the future of Minnesota,” said Dana Nelson, Vice President of Legacy and Community Partnerships, MNSBHC. “We are so pleased to support the Upper Sioux Community through our 52 Weeks of Giving campaign, providing the resources and education to build a healthier future. The long-term results of this project will be testament to the sustained positive impact of this year-long grant effort long after the Super Bowl has passed.”
The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee is a private, non-profit corporation formed to plan and execute Super Bowl LII. For more information visit www.mnsuperbowl.com and follow @mnsuperbowl2018 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.