As COVID-19 cases skyrocket across the United States, the Navajo Nation is experiencing uncontrolled spread in about 55 communities and has entered its second shelter-in-place order. Controlling the spread of COVID is critical, and a key element of success is access to necessary personal protection equipment, or PPE. That’s why the Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund is teaming up with Bashas’ Diné Markets to bring direct relief to families in need on the Navajo Nation.
“We are happy to partner with Bashas’ Diné Markets and Sovereign Partners to help protect Navajo and Hopi community members by providing them with kinship PPE kits that each include 50-count, 3-ply masks, 75-count Clorox wipes, and 8-oz. of sanitizer,” said Ethel Branch, Interim Executive Director of the Navajo & Hopi Families Relief Fund. “We have been providing direct relief for the last eight months to more than 39,000 Navajo and Hopi households. We understand how difficult it is for Navajo and Hopi community members to access these PPE items. It is important to us to be able to help our relatives gain access to these items that will protect them against COVID-19. We are so grateful to our donors for making this happen. We welcome the opportunity for additional donations so that we can continue providing this service. Thank you to all the volunteers, Bashas’ Diné staff, and donors who make this partnership possible.”
In early November, volunteers handed out more than 5,000 personal protective equipment kits to Navajo and Hopi families at Bashas’ Diné Markets in Chinle, Kayenta and Tuba City. The first distribution event, held during a five-day period, was so successful that additional distributions are now planned to take place during the next three months, and more grocery store locations on the Navajo Nation will participate.
“We want to help protect Navajo and Hopi families, and do our part to help flatten the COVID-19 curve on the Navajo Nation,” said Johnny Basha, Vice President of Special Projects for Bashas’ Family of Stores, the family-owned grocer that operates Bashas’ Diné supermarkets. “After seeing how successful this PPE distribution was, we decided to expand our partnership with the Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund by adding additional distribution events and locations, providing more families with the critical PPE that they need to protect their families.”
The next distribution events will be held at Bashas’ Diné Market locations in Crownpoint, Window Rock, Dilkon and Pinon from Tuesday, Dec. 1 through Friday, Dec. 4 (or until supply is exhausted). Volunteers will distribute personal protective equipment kits from 7:30-11:30 a.m. on each of these days.
During the upcoming distributions, volunteers will have a table stationed near the grocery store exit(s), distributing one personal protective equipment kit to each family. Volunteers and staff will be socially distanced on either end of the table and follow all COVID-19 safety protocols, including wearable masks.
The Navajo Nation, home to roughly 170,000 people, had more COVID-19 cases per capita than any state in America this summer and remains in this unfortunate position. Navajo people have a much higher risk for infection (due to a higher rate of diabetes and hypertension) and for community spread
(as many have limited continued access to food and water, which create challenges when needing to self-isolate and help prevent the spread of infection). The Navajo population has been hit so hard by COVID-19 that Doctors Without Borders (an organization known for sending medical professionals into international conflict zones to assist with medical crises) dispatched a team of nine people to the reservation to help. The Navajo Nation also recently implemented another weekend-long curfew to keep members from leaving the reservation and bringing COVID-19 back to their families.
Last week, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the U.S., urged Americans to “double down” on basic precautions as coronavirus cases soared across the country and more COVID-19 patients were hospitalized than ever before.
To make a donation to the Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund, click here: https://bit.ly/3lxQl2k or write a check to Nonprofit Fiscal Services (their fiscal sponsor) and put “Navajo/Hopi Relief” in the memo line. Mail it to: 623 East 2100 South, Suite B1, Salt Lake City, UT, 84106.
To view and download photos from the first personal protective equipment kit distribution held Monday, Nov. 2, through Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, at Bashas’ Diné Markets in Chinle, Kayenta and Tuba City, click here: https://bit.ly/32SBCrl.
About Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund
The Navajo & Hopi Families COVID-19 Relief Fund is part of Yee Ha’ólniDoo, a grassroots, indigenous nonprofit organization led by female tribal members. They use donations to purchase bulk food, water, personal protective equipment, and other medical items to help Navajo and Hopi residents – especially the elderly, immunocompromised, and families with children – stay home, safe, and socially distanced to weather the pandemic. For more information and to donate, visit https://bit.ly/3lxQl2k or write a check to Nonprofit Fiscal Services (their fiscal sponsor) and put “Navajo/Hopi Relief” in the memo line. Mail it to: 623 East 2100 South, Suite B1, Salt Lake City, UT, 84106.
About Bashas’ Family of Stores
Bashas’ Family of Stores – the family-owned grocer that operates Food City, AJ’s Fine Foods, Eddie’s Country Store, and both Bashas’ and Bashas’ Diné supermarkets – is an Arizona-based company founded by brothers Ike and Eddie Basha, Sr. With more than 100 grocery stores, it is one of the largest employers in the as state and one of the Best Places to Work in Arizona. Since the company’s inception in 1932, Bashas’ has given back more than $100 million to the communities it serves. For more information, visit bashas.com.