Last Wednesday we delivered close to 2 tons of food, water, and hygiene products to the reservation in a convoy of 5 trucks and trailers. It took a couple of weeks to get it organized. We ordered the food and water and bluebird flour locally and Charity Anywhere found a source of bulk foods and added pinto beans, potatoes, and rice as well as much needed hygiene products, masks, gloves.
Even so, getting all the food for the boxes was a challenge for general shortages, and not all of the boxes, in the end, had the same content, but enough for about a month/s supply of food. re water, which is restricted on the rez, we were only able to physically take two cases per household plus 2 gallons. Also, a commodity that was hard for us to get in any quantity.
The whole delivery was like a relay with many people involved. the food which was ordered through Kanab arrived on Monday as did the truck and trailer from Charity Anywhere.
13 volunteers packed food boxes for 50 households and broke down 100lb and 50 lb bags of pinto beans, potatoes, and rice into 18 lb bags to go with the boxes and for additional 25 households. We also carried Blue Bird flour and water.
Half the load from Charity Anywhere was diapers and hygiene products which we sorted and divided equally for the three communities. and then all was loaded unto trailers and truck beds so that they could be unloaded so that we could stay in our vehicles to avoid contact either way.
Working within the safety guidelines of COVID 19 we all wore masks when unloading, packing, and loading on Monday. We worked mostly outside and had stations situated far apart for social distancing. Where teams were needed, we asked for husband/wife teams to work together and loaded the vehicles so that the load was separate from the drivers. eg no-load inside a vehicle open to the drivers. we also had at least 36 hrs between loading and in Kanab and unloading in Kaibeto.
On Wednesday we drove in convoy to Kaibeto to meet Sarah, Linda, and Betty, community health workers for Monument valley, Kaibeto and Shonto/Inscription house and their teams to hand over the supplies. What took us all day Monday with 13 volunteers, took them 20 minutes to transfer. 2 vehicle loads for lLnda and Betty and 3 for Sarah.
They delivered their load that same day and found several homes without food.
One final item we were able to give the healthcare workers was Tylenol for the frontline treatment of corona related fever. It was also scarce but with the help of friends and Charity Anywhere we were able to find some.
While it feels like our contribution is small compared to the need, our limitations are the ability to get food and water in large quantities at this time of reduced supplies. And also the ability to deliver. We can only take what the healthcare workers can load on their truck and deliver in a day and the time they have to do so. But at least our food gets through and buys time for the bigger players to figure out the logistics to reach the remote areas.
We are sincerely thankful for all the help, the drivers, the donations large and small, the prayers, and support. When many step up we can make a difference.
We are planning to do another delivery in 3 to 4 weeks.