Monday, May 14, 2012

Food Run Report - Sanders 5/8/12

by John Aldrich

Sanders is the first food run in the last sequence for the spring season. It's one of the smaller runs and serves a group of Elders who were relocated from their traditional homelands as a result of the Hopi-Navajo land dispute. This brings a touch of sadness to the occasion, but these families seem to be making the best of it.

As we prepare to leave the motel in Winslow, we line up to have our vehicles smudged for a safe journey.

It's a long drive from Winslow to Sanders, but it's mostly freeway. Once there, we paused for the group picture before moving on to our assigned tasks.

There are 43 volunteers in this group and most are veterans of many prior food runs. In fact, there were only two new people on this run. The number was more than enough for Sanders, but everyone was needed later when we got to Big Mountain and then Teesto.

As the box crew got to work, new volunteer Lance Morris, on the right, helped Steve McGeeney move Rainbow Boxes through the sand on a dolly.

After the boxes are out on the line, the Blue Bird flour comes next. Again we see Lance in the thick of things. He was so eager to help that Ed Keane later awarded him the Energizer Bunny Award for the food run.

And here's a shot of the whole box crew plus Beverly Benally who happened to be in the vicinity.

At each Sanders run there is a fire going with food and coffee on the grate. It's a touch of hospitality from the White family who host the food run.

The medical committee, under Kate Stephens, assesses the special needs of the Elders on each food run. This week the committee consists of nurse Kathy Wilde and "runner" Mary Weinzirl in addition to Kate.

This shot provides a glimpse of what it's like inside the shade house where the food run program is conducted. A portion of the volunteers lines the wall in front of the giveaways and the first row of Elders who are in wheelchairs.

During the program, Ella White, our coordinator at Sanders, and her husband Jack were honored with newly designed ANE T-shirts.

When it came time for the meal, everyone was relieved to move outside. It was such a nice day that it seemed only logical to set up the tables in the open air.

And after the meal Elders brought out their rugs and jewelry in hopes of a sale to help support themselves through the coming months.

In the end, a happy Mary Badonie shakes hands with the volunteer who has just loaded her truck before she heads home.

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