Saturday, May 4, 2013

Food Run Report - Dilkon 4/24/13

by John Aldrich

Last week we were part of the set of food runs that went to Dilkon, Leupp, and Birdsprings. These were the first food runs where there were no Rainbow Food Boxes. Four locations have elected to receive a Rainbow Food Certificate of comparable value in lieu of the boxes. The other food run which won't receive boxes is Pinon. The $100 food certificate can be used at Basha's grocery stores and allows the Elder to make a choice of what they would like to purchase.

Although the absence of food boxes made the logistics much simpler, there were still many things that needed to be transported to each food run site. Thus, volunteers still needed to fill their vehicles with a variety of boxes containing Program giveaways, gift boxes for the Elders, and home care products. The new approach did allow us to forgo the cost of a rental truck, however.

We met in Winslow, as usual, and again were at the same motel, but it's now a Rodeway Inn rather than a Super 8. On the first evening we gathered at the Winslow visitor center for the ceremony that begins each food run.

Boyd Mitchell is smudging each volunteer as they enter the building to form the circle for the ceremony. The visitor center provides a nice venue for this event, and the staff are very obliging to keep the building open for us.

During the ceremony, Boyd was honored with an ANE limited edition Pendleton blanket. This honor was featured in our previous blog.

The next morning, after our breakfast meeting and orientation, we were off to Dilkon, roughly 40 miles away on the reservation. Our food run again used the local Mormon meeting house. It's the only building large enough to hold our event, and even then, it's a tight squeeze.

There were 25 volunteers on this food run which seemed like just the right number to get the job done but not overcrowd the space.

You'll see that our numbers are swelled by the three Mormon missionaries who were assigned to Dilkon.

These young men were gracious hosts as well as good sports when they were called upon to participate in some of our "games". They also pitched in to help move and load boxes.

As the Elders arrived, they were met by our "greeting committee" consisting of Virginia Aldrich and Tineke Pols. Here is Eva Billy on her arrival.

One of the major setup jobs is organizing all of the Program giveaways. Wendy Sanborn heads the group of ladies who accomplished this task and created a beautiful and colorful display for the front of the room.

The Program giveaways are assembled in the ANE warehouse in Salt Lake by a large group of volunteers. Wendy always acknowledges this "unseen" group who make such a difference.

After the food run program got underway, each Elder received their Rainbow Food Certificate.

And the, C.J. Rob explained that even though there were no food boxes to pick up, each Elders would still be receiving gift boxes and some would also have home care products.

This is what the circle of boxes looked like outside.

Those readers who have been on food runs and are used to seeing a much larger assortment of boxes and produce will be struck by the difference.

Lauria Bell-Huges (right in the photo) has been associated with ANE for many years but hadn't been on a food run for some time. She was thrilled to see her Elder, Lillie Paddock, again.

Her friend Linda Passarelli from Tucson (left) was making her first food run. They were able to take Lillie home after the food run.

The missionaries got into the act again when it was time for the Happy Birthday - Crackerjacks event. We sing happy birthday to all the Elders and then award a box of Crackerjacks to the oldest.

 One of the oldest is Madeline Begay who always has a cheerful smile for everyone.

Handing out Program giveaways provided an opportunity for several of our first-time volunteers to interact with the Elders. Here Bruce Schow hands out lanterns to the men,

while Catherine Smith lets Elders choose jackets in the size and color of their choice.

After the food run is over, volunteers return to Winslow where that evening we gather at the Chinese restaurant across the street from the motel. This is a tradition for every food run based in Winslow and provides a opportunity for fellowship and a chance to share experiences  from the food run.

The buffet offers a colorful choice of entrees of which these are just a few.

Then it's time for a good night's rest before the food run to Leupp the following day.

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