Facebook Twitter K1-TEXT Email Print


Cherokee Nation

Posted: Jul 11, 2023 9:16 AMUpdated: Jul 11, 2023 9:17 AM

Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr Talks Major USDA Grant on COMMUNITY CONNECTION

Share on RSS


Tom Davis
Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr was our guest on COMMUNITY CONNECTION on Tuesday. Chief Hoskin talked a lot about the USDA grant that Cherokee Nation received for WIC, which was the largest grant in the country 
Chief Hoskin said,"This federal program provides nutrition education, food, baby formula, breastfeeding support and other essential help for pregnant and postpartum mothers, infants and children up to 5 years old." He reminded Cherokee citizens "Cherokee Nation operates WIC on our reservation in northeast Oklahoma, and we know our program improves the health of Cherokee families. Now I am proud to announce an expansion of our success. Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) awarded Cherokee Nation the country’s largest Community Innovation and Outreach (CIAO) grant, valued at $1 million over the next 18 months."
According to Chief Hoskin, the program serves everyone who meets income guidelines, and Cherokees make up about 60% of participants.  He said that this new funding will help CN reach even more families across the 7,000-square-mile Cherokee Nation Reservation.
"Expanding the WIC program is not just about providing food," Said Chif Hoskin, "It is about empowering families with the knowledge and resources to make healthy choices. With new dollars we can increase outreach, gather data and conduct surveys in communities to raise awareness about WIC. This will help us identify the places that we can make improvements long term."
Hoskin added that one of the exciting initiatives that will benefit from this expansion is the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. We recently announced a separate USDA partnership with area farmers’ markets across the reservation to provide WIC participants with a $30 benefit added on an eWIC card for healthy fruits and vegetables. That $244,000 USDA grant will support local farmers and encourage healthier eating.
Cherokee Nation also plans to launch the First Steps to Hope program soon to help reduce the adverse effects of poverty on Cherokee newborns. Eligible WIC participants will receive an additional $400 monthly stipend for up to 18 months or until their child turns 1 year old. This pilot program, funded by the tribe’s ARPA dollars, addresses the immediate needs of families, including food, while also providing resources for long-term self-sufficiency. Hoskin said they will evaluate the impact of this short-term program to better inform future efforts at providing basic income support to Cherokees in need.
Hoskon encourages all eligible families to apply for the WIC program and take advantage of the array of services it offers. Living within the Cherokee Nation Reservation is the primary eligibility factor, and individuals do not have to be Native American to qualify. We are grateful for the USDA's partnership and support in expanding our WIC program.
Families can learn more about the WIC program by calling 1-800-256-0671, ext. 5589, or visiting https://www.cherokeepublichealth.org/WIC

« Back to News