|Detailed Objective: Native Americans are among the most economically vulnerable and most nutritionally at-risk population groups targeted by USDA’s food assistance programs. Compared with others, Native Americans are more likely to be poor and unemployed, to experience high levels of food insecurity, and to suffer from debilitating chronic diseases associated with persistently poor diets. Obesity Type-II diabetes rates among Native Americans are among the highest in the world. The subgroup of Native Americans living on or near reservations are poorer than Native Americans living elsewhere and are therefore less likely to be able to meet their nutritional needs without Federal assistance.
Little is known about the use, delivery, and effectiveness of food assistance programs serving Native Americans on or near reservations. A major barrier to improved research and evaluation studies is the lack of partnership and stakeholder involvement with the tribal communities. The objective of this cooperative research agreement is for ERS and the University of Nevada to work collaboratively to develop a research plan and instrumentation for examining the determinants of USDA food assistance programs participation decisions of Native Americans on reservations. The plan will be built on the research strengths of both institutions and incorporate input and involvement from tribal colleges and other tribal stakeholders.