one of the unfortunate realities of running trips in the remote depths of the
Grand Canyon that we must plan for the worst and hope for the best. This planning
comes into play in a number of ways, including when we pack food for our trips.
Some of our guests noted in their post-trip reviews this season that we
provided more food than their group needed which resulted in food waste.
Because we must prepare for emergencies, and because some perishable items
(like meat and eggs) are too dangerous to use after traveling 280 miles in
coolers (from Lee’s Ferry to Pearce Ferry where we pick up our boats), we will
never completely eliminate the possibility that some food will be thrown away.
However, much of the food that comes off of our trips is still unopened, unspoiled, and completely safe to use. If we can’t send these unused items on another trip, we make sure to put them good use. Throughout the season, our guides bring excess items from our Marble Canyon warehouse to the food banks in Flagstaff where our office is located.
This year, a new style of food bank opened in Flagstaff, and we were happy to support them with our end of season excesses. The People’s Pantry, run by Full Circle Charities, was created to meet the needs of food insecure people in the Flagstaff area who are not adequately served by traditional food banks. Some of their strategies for reaching these populations include operating during the evenings and on weekends to better accommodate people’s work schedules and allowing their clients to select only items they want once per week as if shopping at a grocery store rather than providing a pre-assembled box of items once per month as many food banks do. They even supplement traditional pantry items with fresh dairy, eggs, and meat to help their clients create well-rounded nutritional meals.
When we at Hatch were approached by the People’s Pantry about supporting their burgeoning new model, we were thrilled to be able to help. Our food pack manager sorted through the stock that remained after our last trip launched, and found we were able to give 5 crates of food, including an entire case of mistakenly delivered strawberry cake mix. That should make a few birthday celebrations brighter this year!
If you are in the Flagstaff area and want to donate time, money, or food, or if you just want to learn more about Full Circle Charities, visit their website: http://fullcircletrade.net/peoples-pantry/