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24,192 Meals Delivered During the First Week of 2018—Having Semi-Fun!

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We are off and running in 2018! During the first week of January, we delivered our largest number of meals in a single visit to Pine Ridge Reservation, making Conscious Alliance history! Here’s how it happened:

Towards the end of 2017, our primary contact at Pine Ridge School, Dan Nelson, facilitated the receipt of three semi-trucks worth of FEMA meals for the Reservation and once awarded, solicited our help in shipping and distributing the meals.

The plan came together quickly as we headed into the New Year. With the help of a recent donation from Eric Pirritt and Live Nation, we were able to fund the pick-up of the three semi-trucks worth of food to be transported to Pine Ridge Reservation. Our team decided to work with one semi-truck during this first trip so we could learn and manage logistics.

So, on a very cold memorable day, after a week of stocking our Pine Ridge Reservation food pantry with food from ‘Art That Feeds’ food drives, hosting a free store with clothing and home good donations we’d collected and visiting with locals, we unloaded the first semi-truck full of 28 pallets worth of meals!

The goal was to empty the semi-truck as quickly as possible, loading its contents into our 26-foot truck in order to make deliveries to schools and to our food pantry in Oglala. The team was ready and our volunteers were eager, but unloading the semi-truck proved more challenging than we expected.

All the pallets were turned sideways, preventing us from using a pallet jack. Thinking on our feat, our solution was to have our executive director climb on top of the pallets and lasso each pallet with ratchet straps as the team below pulled the pallets out with the use of a bobcat. Cold then, comical now, it was absolutely worth it considering each pallet contained 864 meals (of 24,192)!

The meals consisted of 4 items: an entree, two fruits, and a starch. The entree ranged from tuna fish, spaghettios to beef jerky.

After overcoming the initial pallet hurdle, the day went smoothly. We successfully distributed the meals throughout Pine Ridge Reservation, including:

  • Pine Ridge School K-12, Pine Ridge Girls School and Loneman School who plan to distribute the meals to students
  • Wolf Creek School where the meals will be used as an incentive for upcoming parent-teacher conferences
  • And lastly to our food pantry on Pine Ridge Reservation where meals will be distributed to families in need

We will return to Pine Ridge Reservation two more time in the next month to unload and distribute the remaining 48,384 FEMA meals, bringing our total to 72,828 meals delivered via FEMA’s donation.

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