Members of a joint effort between LDF Elder & Aging and LDF Country Market teammates to keep LDF Elders supplied during the pandemic.

Pictured from left standing: Sharon Thompson, Chris Fuller, Serena Johnson, Driver, Joely Armstrong, Lorraine Wildcat, and Sedwick Armstrong.
Seated: George Careful.

Tribal Elders are respected and revered throughout the community. Protecting them during the pandemic is serious business with many people working daily to keep Elders safe.

The Elder & Aging program team is on the front lines of keeping these Tribal Treasures safe. And working alongside them is the LDF Country Market team.

“When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, we had to move fast and close our Congregate Meal Site,” LDF Tribal Elder & Aging Director Sharon Thompson said. “We moved to home-delivered meals for our Elders. We immediately contacted our local LDF Country Market team to order frozen meals.”

“They provided a quick turn around to a rapidly changing way we offered meals,” Sharon added. “We went from delivering meals to 100 Elders to more than 280 Elders. The Country Market continues to provide an essential service in feeding our sheltered Elders.”

Over the course of the pandemic, the two teams have worked closely to offer a wider variety of tasty, nutritious meals, fresh sandwiches and snacks. According to LDF Country Market General Manager George Carufel, Sharon and her team pick up 1200-1500 meals a week for Elders.

“There are times during the pandemic when we are scrambling, when only half the amount of food needed shows up from our wholesaler,” George said. “But our team quickly moves to assemble meals off the shelf to make up the difference.”

If the off-the-shelf options are in short supply, the Country Market Deli team has ordered 500 pre-made and wrapped sandwiches to make up the difference at times, George said.

“The LDF Country Market team has met our needs promptly and with a helpful attitude,” Sharon said. “There were speed bumps, like the trucking crisis that prevented supplies for getting through to the Reservation, but the Country Market team always managed to offer substitutes and fulfill our orders.”

Sharon and the Elder & Aging program team are grateful for the LDF Country Market team and their commitment to partnering to ensure Tribal Elders are taking care of during the pandemic.

“Many thanks to George, Chris, and the entire Country Market team for helping keep our Elders fed during these trying times,” Sharon said.