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Food, essential items distributed in drive-thru to Sheep Springs residents

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

SHEEP SPRINGS — More than 1,500 people living on the Navajo Nation – tribal members and non-members – tested positive for COVID-19, so the Tooh Haltsooí Chapter sought to keep people safe at home by holding a drive-thru distribution for food and essential items.

Chapter officials, employees and volunteers assembled packages for the giveaway on April 24. It was designed to help community members comply with public health emergency orders issued by the tribal government and to help reduce the spread of the new virus.

"At no time will they get out of their vehicles," Chapter Manager Kevin Begay said to the group before the first set of vehicles drove onto the chapter house grounds.

Residents had the choice between selecting food packages or gift certificates for groceries, propane, wood or livestock feed from T&R Market near Gallup. 

In addition, they each received paper towels and toilet paper. If the individual was elderly, a fleece blanket was provided.

"One food box," Navajo Nation Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty shouted after helping a community member fill out necessary documentation to receive items.

Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty helps a resident complete the form to receive food and other essential items from the Tooh Haltsooí Chapter on April 24 in Sheep Springs. Crotty represents the chapter on the Navajo Nation Council.

A few yards away, volunteers Terence Suina and Ray Livingston loaded food into vehicles.

"I love to help our community. I love to help the people where I can and when I can," Suina said during a break.

Begay said 132 residents participated in the distribution. Items were provided by the chapter, as well as donations from the State of New Mexico and the National Guard.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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