TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation is continuing its efforts to fight food insecurity with 1839 Cherokee Meat Co. becoming a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program retailer.

Operated by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, SNAP is the most far-reaching, powerful tool available to ensure that all Americans can afford healthy food. The program issues electronic benefits that can be used like cash to purchase food and helps to feed more than 42 million Americans – 1 in 8 – each month.

In 2022, more than 408,000 Oklahoma families received SNAP benefits.

“Becoming a SNAP retailer is a game changer,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “Emergency assistance funds related to the pandemic have now ended nationwide, and SNAP families will need to adjust to their new benefit levels. It is more important than ever before that they have access to quality foods and fair pricing in order to stretch their benefits and provide their families with nutritious foods.”

The tribe’s USDA and state-certified meat processing plant opened in late October as a means of growing economic development through agricultural programs, while directly addressing food security for generations of Cherokee citizens through sustainable and locally sourced meat.

In addition to becoming a SNAP retailer, the tribe is offering a 10% discount for all veterans, Cherokee Nation tribal citizens, and employees of Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Businesses.

 “There are a lot of programs out there that offer assistance for people facing food insecurity, but access to quality foods continues to be an issue,” said Deputy Principal Chief Bryan Warner. “We’re committed to breaking down the barriers that our tribal citizens, friends and community members face when addressing their nutritional needs, and becoming a SNAP retailer is a huge step. At 1839 Cherokee Meat Co., they can find quality, locally sourced meat that is competitively priced and SNAP eligible.”

The mission of 1839 Cherokee Meat Co. is to provide a safe and clean operation, promoting food security for generations of Cherokee citizens, ranchers and communities. It is located at 18919 N. 466 Road in Tahlequah and open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information on products or processing livestock, please visit 1839cherokeemeatco.com.