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CO Based Organization Opens New Food Bank in Oglala


Residents of the Pine Ridge town of Oglala have a new food bank. The Boulder Colorado based organization Conscious Alliance has opened its second location on Pine Ridge.   Organizers say they’re focusing on food security for the youth.

Justin Levy is the Executive Director of Conscious Alliance, it’s a national hunger relief and youth empowerment organization based in Boulder, Colorado.  Levy says his group focused on Pine Ridge because it’s close to Boulder.
“Pine Ridge is only six hours away from our offices in Boulder, Colorado where our offices are,” says Levy. “It’s extremely economically isolated and we are able to kind of fill a gap and provide nourishment for people on the reservation and particularly focusing on the youth.”
The organization first opened a food pantry in Red Cloud community in 2005 and is now following up with a second food bank in the town of Oglala. In addition Conscious Alliance is sending backpacks full of food home with 250 students from Loneman School as a way to supplement the need over the weekend.
“I believe it’s never a child’s fault that they don’t have adequate nutrition and we want to fill that gap and in addition we’re teaching gardening and nutrition education to kids,” says Levy.  
While much of rural America is seeing an outmigration, Tribal Nations are bucking this trend and growing in population.  Levy says he sees positive changes underway on Pine Ridge and a great deal of hope in the future.
“Not just hope, it’s happening.  Every time I go up there I’m inspired by young people on the reservation through their artwork through their music through their music, through the language that they’re carrying on, through talents that they have, says Levy.  
Levy says his organization is providing roughly 100-thousand meals on Pine Ridge each year and is working to increase that number annually.

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