The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTB) in partnership with the Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency Inc. - Northwest Food Coalition (NFC), Goodwill Northern Michigan Food Rescue (Food Rescue), and Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, will address food insecurity in a 7-county area of Northwest Lower Michigan (Antrim, Grand Traverse, Benzie, Leelanau, Charlevoix, Manistee and Kalkaska). This partnership will purchase food from local producers and distribute it through a network of over 70 food pantries, meal sites and baby pantries; 3 of which are operated by GTB. The goal is to address food insecurity and support local producers while providing fresh food to the community members in need. The community members face numerous dietary maladies far above state and national averages. This funding allows GTB to re-establish itself as a leader addressing regional food insecurity. Through this partnership with the NFC our region's food insecurity will be less reliant on food from outside of our region. Northwest Lower Michigan remains a region with some of the highest crop diversity nationally. This initiative seeks to bolster regional food production efforts by establishing critical 1st sale connections between local food producers and the network of partners at the NFC and the region’s largest employer; GTB. Forming these connections creates an opportunity for GTB to be a leader in local food purchasing. This initiative will build upon decades of work to establish local economies that support the long-term goal of food sovereignty at GTB while addressing pressing food insecurity regionally.