Lakota Youth Development Invests in Camp Kitchen

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Tammi Schone
(605) 352-1102
Local Foods Conference photo

Lakota Youth Development, [(LYD) formerly known as Native American Advocacy Program] a Native nonprofit youth serving organization in south central South Dakota holds 4-day youth cultural camps throughout the summer for at risk youth.  LYD was in desperate need of new kitchen equipment to be able to feed and teach basic cooking skills to the over 300 youth they serve at their camp annually.

Lakota Youth Development leveraged resources to build a new and larger building for the camp kitchen at their 10- acre camp located in Gregory County. Through the support and assistance received from a USDA Rural Development Community Facility grant for $46,500 and leveraged with an applicant contribution of $10,500 and other funding of $5,000, LYD was able to purchase all the needed commercial kitchen equipment.  This grant was able to not only feed the large numbers of youth served, but to offer basic cooking classes and teach other self sustaining skills such as canning and preserving garden crops and making soaps and other ointments that can be made from wild edible and medicinal plants as well as garden crops.

The immediate benefit was that LYD was able to use the equipment purchased to prepare and serve over 900 hundred meals to at risk youth. 

The new kitchen facilities helped LYD to launch a whole new education component to its programming and expanded its honey and bee keeping youth led social enterprise (Honey Lodge) by giving the youth a place to make other items with honey based products such as lip balm, cough drops and candles.  This resulted in Honey Lodge doubling their sales products.   

Honey Lodge was also able to add a weekend class that used cooking and baking for youth that is being featured in the SD Public TV Savor Dakota program to air early in 2018. LYD has increased its partners as a result of the new kitchen by 20%. Plans are now being made to add a culinary camp in the summer of 2018 for youth and the local community on indigenous cooking. This will ultimately increase our youth and community use of our camp kitchen facility and increase our partnerships in servicing youth at risk.

Fast Facts

Obligation Amount$46,500
Date of ObligationDecember 2017
Congressional DistrictNoem
Senator's Last NamesThune; Rounds