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Crow Creek Community Champion, Jackie Rhode, Receives Donation for Local Backpack Program

Jackie Rhode and members of the Christian Motorcyclist Association huddling for a group prayer.

The Crow Creek Sioux Reservation is home to about 2,225 people and is located on the east bank of the Missouri River in central South Dakota. Over the past four to five years, a wellness coalition has been created, established and is currently in full force through the work of SDSU Extension and many other great partners and collaborations within the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe.

The Crow Creek Wellness Coalition meets monthly to discuss important initiatives and future programming focused around health, wellness, and much more! The Crow Creek Wellness Coalition’s community champion, Jackie Rhode, was nominated and awarded the 2019 Culture of Health Adult Volunteer Award for all her work in Fort Thompson, South Dakota. Jackie wears many different hats, but all of her work is centered on the values of inclusivity and equity. She sees how social determinants of health impact her community.

Jackie Rhode posing with Christian Motorcyclist Association chapter members.

Alongside the support of the wellness coalition, the school district, and Partnership with Native Americans, Jackie has decided to use the funding she received to start a backpack program for the students at the Crow Creek Tribal School in the 2019-2020 school year. The goals of this project are:

  1. Increase food access to K-6 students over the weekend due to high poverty rates and food insecurity.
  2. Increase educational outcomes and retain student attendance by providing food to students facing high rates of food insecurity.

Community relationships are key to helping continue the work of the wellness coalition as well as foster and grow future efforts within the Crow Creek community. Through Jackie’s dedication and relationships within the community, she was able to receive a cash donation from two chapters of the Christian Motorcyclist Association: the Missouri River chapter of Central South Dakota and Warriors of Christ chapter of Belvadere, Nebraska. Jackie has stated she would like this donation to be utilized for the purchasing of food to go towards the Backpack Program at the Crow Creek Tribal School.