April 14, 2020 – As the world population continues to work on containing and reducing the spread of Covid-19, no place is untouched and that includes the Grand Canyon. Even before the Grand Canyon National Park closed to visitors on April 1, traffic was well down. In the interest of public health, the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and IMAX Theatre in Tusayan had closed March 19th. Closing the business has consequences to the health of the community beyond the obvious current pandemic. The entire town of Tusayan is almost entirely dependant on tourism. Without the steady stream of visitors excited to see the most remarkable natural wonder in the world, the town’s inhabitants lose income.
Food bank at Tusayan line-up during Covid-19 pandemic.
Tourism will undoubtably be hard hit not only during the immediate health threat but also for many months following. This understanding has placed stress on the town. The Grand Canyon Visitor Center and IMAX Theatre employees are not exempt from this concern. In an attempt to alleviate some immediate concerns with how the town will survive these hard times, the center has been converted to a temporary food bank. Every Wednesday for the past 4 weeks the facility has been used to distribute food to members of the Grand Canyon community. The food bank will operate once a week until the Coronavirus becomes a thing of the past. The food bank is being used by 350-400 families per week.
Food bank at Tusayan volunteers providing food to local residents.
In these tough times, it’s encouraging to see everyone stepping up and helping one another. Janet Rosener, General Manager of the Visitor Center says she is committed to keeping the food bank open and running once a week until the pandemic has passed.
The Tusayan Food Bank will operate once per week until we are on the other side of this war. – Janet Rosener, General Manager Grand Canyon Visitor Center
The food bank will remain at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center every Wednesday for the foreseeable future.
Grand Canyon Visitor Center used for storage and distribution.
Grand Canyon Visitor Center preparations for April 21, 2020 food back distribution.