Hopi Community: Letter to Grocers

This letter was submitted to local Grocers operating within the Hopi Reservation.

March 22, 2020
Dear Local Grocer,
My name is Sahmie S. Lomahquahu and I’m working to support local communities in organizing to respond to the immediate influence and potential long-term impacts of COVID-19. At this time, with the growing cases being identified in our border towns of Navajo & Coconino County, and quite possibly within our own communities, we want to be prepared for full quarantine, shelter in place, and/or restricted travel across Hopi.

With this in mind, I had hoped to schedule to have a conversation with you all to learn what you are doing to prepare for this potential change in our local community. I also want to convey the concerns of the community as we continue to move forward and hope for the best partnership and support from & for our local businesses. As of the evening of March 21, 2020, Tuba City moved to a shelter in place with multiple cases of COVID-19 in Tuba City.

This poses greater risk for our families seeking food sources, wood or coal, and household items outside of Hopi. We ask that you please consider these restraints in future ordering to meet the growing need of families of Hopi & Navajo closest to your store operations.

We also caution that you begin to evaluate allowing an appropriate number of customers in the store at a time that allows for the greatest practice of social distancing. In addition, these are a few additional recommendations:

  • Drive-Up options for Elderly & Health Compromised
  • Pre-packaged household goods as a purchase (soap, tissue, toilet
    paper, paper towel, hand sanitizer, etc)
  • Limiting the quantity of products per customer purchase that are
    a) hard to stock and
    b) essential for all households to access.
  • Closing store every 2-3 hours for 20-30 minutes to sanitize and maintain the best standards of care for community and your staff.
  • Posting by flier and social media or website, current hours o operation, with specific details that allow the best information for shoppers.
  • Ordering longer shelf-life produce and using in-store practices that keep produce fresh.
  • Order fruit and vegetables that offer in-home remedies/support for colds (lemon, ginger, vitamin-c, honey, etc)
  • Considering in-store placement or pre-packaging items for meals to reduce the risk of germs spreading to all the cans and products.

Thank you for considering a few options, we understand you may already be working on this.