by John Aldrich
is part of a series describing the various food runs that the
Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program conducts to eleven different locations
around the Navajo Reservation. These locations are served in groups of
two or three sites per trip. The articles will hopefully be of general
interest but also serve as an orientation for prospective food run
volunteers and for those who have signed up for a particular food run.
The Leupp food run is part of a set of three, the others being Dilkon and
food run set begins the three week period of food runs that constitute
the bulk of our visits to the reservation. In the spring
it occurs in late May and in the fall, late September.
runs to Leupp began in the late 1990's when Cyndy Sheldon, sponsor of
an Elder at Many Farms, urged Linda to add this location along with Dilkon. Cindy lived in Winslow and saw the great need to serve elderly
Navajos in the southern part of the reservation. At first these were
small scale runs carried out by a just a few dedicated volunteers.
Initially the Elders at these locations received food certificates
rather than food boxes making these runs much simpler to carry out from a
logistical standpoint. But soon Leupp and Dilkon were full-scale food
runs with Rainow Boxes, produce, and gift boxes. Ironically, Leupp
returned to its roots in 2012. Although the Elders still receive gift
boxes and home-care products, they elected to return to receiving food
certificates of comparable value in lieu of the Rainbow sets. They can
use these certificates at a nearby Basha's grocery and choose those
food items that they prefer.
Some additional history of the early years of this food run can be found in this blog.
following map* shows the Navajo Reservation with particular reference to
the location of the food run at Leupp and the lodging base for this
run which is Winslow. You can click on the map to see a larger view.
article published by the Navajo Times.
The food run to Leupp takes place on Wednesday, the day following the Dilkon food run. After another breakfast meeting at Denny's Restaurant at the Flying J Travel Plaza, we hit the road for Leupp, a mere 29 miles away. This is the second shortest drive to any of the food run sites.
Although food runs here initially began at the chapter house, they have been held at the Senior Center for many years.
Since this is another location that has elected to receive food certificates in lieu of food boxes, it's a bit simpler setting up the Rainbow Circle. But there are still plenty of boxes to be unloaded.