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COPE to Advance Programs to Improve Health Outcomes for Navajo Women and Children


Gallup, New Mexico – Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment(COPE), a Native non-profit,is advancing program work that has been associated with improved health outcomes among Navajo women and children supported by a $200,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “Indigenous communities have long been at the forefront of food security innovation,” said COPE Executive Director Nitumigaabow Champagne. “While federal policies aimed at destroying traditional food systems and community connections have precipitated a dependency on highly-processed, high-fat, and salted foods, COPE’s food sovereignty model has achieved greater access to healthy food and an increase in healthy behaviors among Navajo families.”This project will support the following activities: creating a Food Sovereignty Toolkit designed for scale and impact; using the Toolkit to expand the Food Sovereignty Model to new Navajo communities; and conducting an evaluation of the expansion effort with community input. The Food Sovereignty model engages local growers, small stores, clinics, and schools in providing a holistic, community-led pathway to improving diet-related health outcomes.If replication of the model in the new communities are proven to be successful, the model could be deployed to address diet-related chronic conditions across Indian Country.By supporting the expansion of the COPE Food Sovereignty Model, and the evaluation of these efforts, the Kellogg Foundation is playing an important role in overturning health disparities in American Indian communities. For press inquiries and scheduled interviews, please contact: Aditi Sethi at



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