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Tue, Dec. 01

Tusayan Food Bank provides food for residents during COVID-19 shutdowns

Stoney Ward (left) of Buck Wild Hummer Tours and Tusayan Vice Mayor Brady Harris help with Tusayan Food Bank supplies  March 25 in response to an increase in demand due to COVID-19. (Lo Frisby/WGCN)

Stoney Ward (left) of Buck Wild Hummer Tours and Tusayan Vice Mayor Brady Harris help with Tusayan Food Bank supplies March 25 in response to an increase in demand due to COVID-19. (Lo Frisby/WGCN)

TUSAYAN, Ariz. — While practicing social distancing, volunteers from the Tusayan Fire Department, town staff, business owners and residents came together March 25 outside of the IMAX Theater to fulfill what was Tusayan Food Bank’s largest order yet for food and supplies to residents in need during the COVID-19 crisis.

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Marc Montana of Buck Wild Hummer Tours directs traffic during distribution March 25. (Lo Frisby/WGCN)

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Tusayan Sanitary District Superintendent Bob Petzoldt prepares packages for distribution. (Lo Frisby/WGCN)

In anticipation of 120 known registered households, volunteers met at 9:30 a.m. to begin preparations. By noon, recipients began to arrive for the event. They were greeted by Marc Montana of Buck Wild Hummer Tours. Montana stated that the organizers were happy to “take control of our area” by providing for residents in need.

Upon arrival, recipients of food boxes were instructed by Montana to remain in their vehicles and form lines, which were laid out with traffic cones into three lanes. One lane was for registered households and the other two were to accommodate unregistered recipients. As residents waited, they were handed informational flyers with instructions on how to proceed. Once residents reached the distribution zone, they remained in their vehicles as volunteers loaded the boxes, which were based on the number of individuals per household, into the trunks or backseats, in an effort to practice social distancing. All volunteers wore face masks and gloves to further protect the community from possible transmission.

According to Tusayan Vice Mayor Brady Harris, the town surpassed its estimated quota of 120 boxes. “(We) ended up making around 240 boxes, caring for about 520 people,” he said. “Nobody was turned away, everyone received milk, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, flour, sugar, and butter.”

Harris said the community has come together to help neighbors and friends.

“It’s an incredibly trying time for our community,” he said. “We have crippling unemployment coupled with a lack of access to affordable grocery stores. We want to make sure that everyone remain calm and pull together.”

Harris said he wanted to reassure residents that the town is thinking about residents during this time.

“The town is thinking of them,” he said. “We will figure this out together, and only together will we be able to succeed.”

Residents of the community are encouraged to register to receive food boxes via the Grand Canyon Rotary’s website spiritofthecanyon.com/food, to ensure availability. The Food Bank will continue to be active and is currently hosting one distribution per week until further notice. Residents in need of delivery service may contact Sandi Angat at (928) 266-2604.

More information is available at spiritofthecanyon.com and tusayan-az.gov.

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