LEECH LAKE, MN – The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) Legacy Fund today awarded the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe a $100,000 grant to help purchase and stock a mobile teaching kitchen. The kitchen will teach hands-on cooking techniques and overall best practices for sustainable and affordable cooking. Partnerships and collaborations between Tribal Government programs will ensure that the kitchen is utilized across the Leech Lake Reservation.
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 to help improve the health and wellness of young people in Minnesota.
The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe held a celebration today at the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe’s Food Distribution Center to commemorate the grant. The celebration was part of annual festivities held at the center that promote overall health in the community. Festivities began with a morning walk headed by the Diabetes Fitness Center, informational programming from the Leech Lake Health Division, juicer bike demos, bingo, a community lunch and the grant dedication program. Youth in attendance mixed salads and created their own dressing recipes from scratch, to highlight the ode’imin (strawberry), which is an important part of story in the Ojibwe culture that teaches forgiveness and peace.
“The grant from the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund will help us tear down social and economic barriers that our young people are faced with by educating them on how to prepare simple, healthy foods,” said James Monchamp, former Executive Director for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. “The teaching kitchen is an opportunity to improve long-term health and wellness for the next generation of our community.”
The kitchen’s curriculum will center on the basics of proper nutrition and incorporate recipes for simple, traditional and economically feasible meals. It will be a resource to educate young people and families on nutritious food options to reduce the consumption of processed, high sugar and fat foods and improve the long-term health of the Native community in Leech Lake.
The project is a collaboration between several Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Government functions. Leech Lake Health Division will manage the general upkeep and maintenance of the teaching kitchen and Leech Lake Fleet Management will house the unit. Together the programs involved will help furnish the kitchen and manage cooking classes.
“Healthy eating starts with learning how to prepare simple, nutritious meals, an important step in achieving long term wellness for children in Minnesota,” said Dana Nelson, Vice President of Legacy and Community Partnerships for the MNSBHC Legacy Fund. “We are grateful for the chance to help fund the mobile teaching kitchen for the Leech Lake Reservation community.”
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.