Duncan, Okla. – Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby was joined Tuesday, April 12 by local and tribal officials and dozens of area residents to mark the opening of the new Duncan Nutrition Center.
The new facility, located at 1302 W. Main, provides a “one stop shop” for Chickasaws and Native Americans to access nutrition services including the Food Distribution Program (FDP) grocery store, Farmers’ Market and the Winter Fruit and Vegetable program for Chickasaw elders; as well as Summer lunch program for children 18 years and younger.
“We are excited about this Duncan Nutrition Center and what it means for the future of this area, because proper nutrition means longer, healthier lives for our elders and more effective learning for our children.”
“This center helps us fulfill our mission of enhancing the overall quality of life of the Chickasaw people by offering nutritious foods and healthy meals.”
“And, we believe by improving the quality of life of Chickasaw people we help improve the quality of life of the entire community,” Gov. Anoatubby said.
Also located in Ada, Ardmore and Purcell, Chickasaw Nation FDP grocery stores provide nutrition education and food to eligible Native Americans.
Foods offered through the tribal Food Distribution Program (FDP) scores high marks, in the 80s, on the federal Healthy Eating Index. A perfect score is 100.
The index, or HEI, is a measure of diet quality including healthy food offerings and correct proportion size – according to the recommended dietary guidelines for all Americans.
Additional nutrition services offered at the 5,000-square-foot facility include the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, which provides vouchers for Chickasaw elders and WIC (Women’s Infants and Children) recipients to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at area farmers’ markets.
The Chickasaw Nation hosts Farmers’ Markets throughout south central Oklahoma from May through October.
The Farmers’ Market program also provides Chickasaw elders with winter fruit and vegetable packages from November to March to ensure access to produce all year.
At the new facility, summer lunches will be available for all children up to 18 years old, during June and July.
The new building features a 1,500 square foot warehouse, administration offices as well as a walk-in cooler/freezer, and grocery store shelving.
Future enhancements include building a demonstration kitchen for Get Fresh! cooking classes, which provide nutrition education programs which teach healthy cooking and meal planning to adults as well as children.
Education is a key component to healthy eating and the Get Fresh! Program offers interactive cooking classes and demonstrations, nutrition education and ideas for ways to add physical activity into daily routines.
The Get Fresh! Program demonstrations are also offered monthly at the nutrition service centers in Ada, Ardmore and Purcell, or may be scheduled by request.
The Chickasaw Nation also operates the Duncan WIC Supplemental Nutrition Program and serves hundreds of women, infants and children in their office at Chisholm Mall. Eligible women, infants and children may participate in supplemental food and nutrition education programs. The program is designed to improve the health of participants during critical stages of growth and development. Nutritionists, lactation consultants and breastfeeding peer counselors are available to assist families.
For more information about Chickasaw Nation Food Distribution Program, call 580-310-6417 or click here.