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Successful Community Development Brings Economic Opportunity, Fresh Food, to a South Dakota Tribe

Crow Creek Fresh Food Initiative employee Wyatt Fleury at the Farmer’s Market with Kevin Yellow Bird Steele.  With USDA support, a Farmers market is thriving in Ft. Thompson.

Crow Creek Fresh Food Initiative employee Wyatt Fleury at the Farmer’s Market with Kevin Yellow Bird Steele. With USDA support, a Farmers market is thriving in Ft. Thompson.

Hunkpati Investments, Inc., serving the Crow Creek Reservation in Fort Thompson, South Dakota offered the visiting South Dakota USDA Rural Development State Director, Elsie M. Meeks and others, a tour of their new facility and an opportunity to buy fresh local produce at their farmer’s market.

“Hunkpati Investments, Inc. is a shining example of how Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI’s) facilitate economic growth in underserved areas, “said Meeks, “from providing financial literacy education, supporting entrepreneurship to improving the quality of life through community gardens and farmer’s markets, CDFI’s fill many roles.”

Offering bags imprinted with the slogan “Produce Local/Grow Crow Creek” to hold all of the fresh vegetables and canned goods, the CDFI promotes financial opportunities, self-sufficiency and self-determination in the community.

The farmer’s market is a part of the Crow Creek Fresh Food Initiative.  Through this project of Hunkpati, over 60 local gardens were tilled in partnership with National Relief Charities, while over 90 garden start-up kits were disbursed.  Six local youth are employed to tend and care the community garden.

State Director Elsie M. Meeks, Hunkpati Board President Sandra K. Isburg, and Hunkpati Executive Director Krystal Langholz.

State Director Elsie M. Meeks, Hunkpati Board President Sandra K. Isburg, and Hunkpati Executive Director Krystal Langholz.

“The partnership between USDA Rural Development and Hunkpati Investments has been very important to our growth as an organization,” stated Hunkpati Executive Director, Krystal Langholz.

Hunkpati has utilized two grants from USDA Rural Development with a Rural Business Opportunity Grant in 2011 to provide technical assistance for business development and economic development planning and a Rural Business Enterprise Grant used to support the creation and administration of a revolving loan fund in 2010.

To find out how USDA Rural Development can assist your community, click here.

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