“I am still in so much shock, and I am trying to understand what they want to see out of the mission,” Jacobs says. “I can say, on a surface level, I want to help support getting Native foods from Native producers and make those ingredients accessible to our members.”
Bringing nutritious and Native foods to American Indian tribes has long been a goal for Jacobs, an Osage Nation member, who started the fast-casual Native American eatery Tocabe in 2008 with his partner, Matt Chandra. Not only are the nutrient-rich ingredients on the menu such as bison, tepary beans, wild rice and Indian blue corn sourced from Native American farmers, but Tocabe also hosts an online marketplace, selling the foods to those who can’t get to the restaurant’s locations in the Berkeley neighborhood and in Greenwood Village.
As for this latest move, Jacobs says the PCSFN advisory position came down through the grapevine thanks to Daron Carreiro, a citizen of the Chicksaw Nation serving as the Senior Policy Advisor for Native Affairs on the White House Policy Council.
“I looked at the names and thought it was fun to have my name thrown in, because it’s all professional athletes and coaches,” notes Jacobs, who shares the job with former MLB player Ryan Howard, Olympian gold medalist Chloe Kim, basketball player Stephen Curry and his wife, actress Ayesha Curry. “I thought it was neat they were bringing people in from the culinary world, too, not just sports and fitness, so we are hearing the voices not just of professional athletes, but those on a more grassroots outlook too.”
Overall, Jacobs says the process happened pretty quickly, explaining that he’d almost forgotten he was a contender before getting an email asking for more information about himself. Two days later, on March 24, he learned that he’d made the team. He’s still filling out paperwork and waiting to find out more information on what he can do and what’s expected of him in the role, which officially starts sometime in May or June, according to Jacobs.
“‘Excited’ isn’t the term, but I think, just because it feels like there are so many things I want to see, I have to figure out where I should start in order to make this [position] genuinely impactful and not just an image-based position for myself,” says Jacobs. “I am excited to expand the network of opportunity to make significant change.”
The President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition is a federal advisory committee aimed at promoting healthy eating and physical activity for all Americans, regardless of background or ability. The first iteration of the program started in 1956 under President Dwight Eisenhower, when it was called the President’s Council on Youth Fitness.
“The fact that my name was thrown in the mix shows the work we try to do at Tocabe is impactful,” adds Jacobs. “It doesn’t go unnoticed, even if we don’t see [the outcome] every day.”
Tocabe is located at 3536 West 44th Avenue and 8181 East Arapahoe Road in Greenwood Village. For more information, visit tocabe.com.