Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Expanding Commodities Service

Members of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Tribal Council, Prairie Band Commodities Program and contractors ceremoniously break ground at the Prairie Band Food Distribution Program’s distribution center on the PBPN Common Land. From left: James Allen, Mar Lan Construction LLC, Raphael Wahwassuck, PBPN TC Member, Member, Tony Wahweotten, PBPN TC Member, Blake Garrison, Commodities Coordinator, Zach Pahmahmie, PBPN TC Vice-Chairman, Joseph Rupnick, PBPN TC Chairman, Wade Pahmahmie, PBPN TC Treasurer, Bill Evans, PBPN TC Member, Michelle Simon, PBPN Assistant General Manager-Member Services, Shawn Kelly, PBPN Construction Manager.

Prairie Band Potawatomi Food Distribution Program is expanding to better serve income-eligible Native and non-Native families residing within the PBPN Common Land boundaries. This expansion includes an 800 square foot warehouse expansion, electric and propane utility upgrades and a new backup generator for the building. The new addition will house increased freezer and refrigeration capacity to provide more fresh and frozen items offered through the Food Package Review Group, which require more space to house the variety.

The program serves Households in Jackson County that have at least one household member who is an enrolled member of a federally recognized Indian tribe and meet all eligibility criteria. Prairie Band Potawatomi tribal members residing in Brown County who meet all eligibility criteria are also served.

Once compete, the new area will be a 20 foot by 40 foot add on to the west of the back warehouse and it will have a freezer/cooler combination unit along with more storage space for dry goods. The old walk-in units will be replaced by three reach-in freezers and three reach-in coolers installed in the front warehouse, making it easier for employees and participants to fill orders.

Funding for the $1.06 M project comes from the USDA FDPIR CARES Act Facility & Equipment Grant.

“The food distribution program provides one of the necessities for life. People need to eat and the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation wants to make sure that none of our people have to go hungry. These changes help to ensure they will have a variety of nutritious food,” Chairman Joseph Rupnick, said.