Elderly in remote areas of the Navajo Nation Reservation in the southwestern United States recently received food and supplies from the Bishops’ Central Storehouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help during the COVID-19 crisis.
Two Deseret Transportation trucks from Salt Lake City carrying canned goods, flour and pasta arrived at a Pentecostal church in Tohatchi, New Mexico, on April 2, according to a Newsroom release.
Members of the Navajo Nation government, a local pastor and Church members unloaded the products, which were then assembled into more than 100 boxes and delivered by volunteers.
“I just want to say thank you very much, everybody, for giving us this donation,” said Navajo Nation Council Delegate Pernell Halona from Tohatchi. “We’ll make good use of it. There’s a lot of people out here that need supplies for the elderly and the people that are [in a] handicapped situation.”
Elder Todd S. Larkin, an Area Seventy in the North America Southwest Area, said the elderly typically live in more rural areas of the reservation. Many are without power and running water, have limited internet service and live up to 50 miles away from grocery stores and other conveniences.
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a 150-year relationship with the Navajo Nation, and we are determined to do all we can to ensure that they fare as well as any of the rest of us in this crisis,” said Elder Larkin.
How a Latter-day Saint couple is using free time during COVID-19 to help a Navajo woman with family history
“We are anxious to do all in our power to relieve suffering and to ensure that adequate food is distributed to the elderly so that they do not go hungry and are not forced to go out into public areas where they could be exposed to the virus.”
Shannon D. Pinto, a New Mexico state senator, said, “We appreciate the help and hope that we can reach as many people as possible who are in need. I also hope we can continue our relationship [with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] until this is all over. Blessed are those who help.”
Read more about the Church’s donation to the Navajo Nation Reservation on Newsroom.