Trinidad volunteers feeding the community – Mad River Union, August 6, 2020

Janine Volkmar

Mad River Union

HUMBOLDT – “They are managing and they are proud,” Carrie Peyton-Dahlberg said, “but a little extra help would be huge.”

Peyton-Dahlberg knew that residents at mobile home parks in the Trinidad area would benefit from food deliveries and other help with errands because of her volunteer efforts during the 2016 mobile home rent control issue. Some of the residents are elderly and many are sheltering in place.

“People assume that there isn’t a need here,” she said, “but there is.” The idea and initial funding came from her and blossomed with volunteer help.

“I knew that there were offers already out there,” she explained. “I offered to do a needs survey. I didn’t have to leave my house; I just got on the phone.”

With that done, and the help of Cooperation Humboldt and the Trinidad Civic Club, volunteers Brett Shuler and Tim Haywood swung into action.

Shuler, a local caterer and musician who is active in the Trinidad Chamber of Commerce, cooks up 18 hot meals every Friday in the Civic Club’s commercial kitchen in Trinidad Town Hall. The club is donating the space, rent-free and Shuler is donating his time.

Meals are nutritious and fresh, such as chicken enchiladas, rice, and beans.

“I try to include a treat, such as brownies,” Shuler said, smiling.

Then Tim Haywood, “masked and gloved,” delivers the meals to residents of local mobile parks, a couple up on Stumptown Road, and to folks living in their vehicles. He’s checking on their well-being at the same time.

“They tell me how they’ve been,” he said.

Haywood, who lives in Trinidad, is also a stewardship assistant for the Trinidad Land Trust. He credits Cooperation Humboldt for their support at the beginning, and captains three of the group’s Team Trinidad volunteers.

“I became team captain for Trinidad, and am now the only active meal deliverer,” he said.

Oscar Mogollon of Cooperation Humboldt praised the efforts of Haywood and Shuler. “It’s really great that the community is just filled with these type of people,” he said.

Cooperation Humboldt is a group of community organizations and local institutions. They formed the Humboldt COVID-19 Community Response Coalition in March and have been facilitating food and supply efforts since. (Mad River Union June 24, 2020, p. 4)

“We just connected the dots and made sure they had enough support,” Mogollon said. “We’ve provided food and masks to them.”

More support and donations are always welcome. Currently Shuler and Haywood have a GoFund Me page for donations for food costs.: gofundme.com/f/trinidad-hot-meal-fund.

Peyton-Dahlberg would like to see a similar needs survey done of every mobile home park in the county. But she’s proud of the efforts in Trinidad. “The people who do the real work are the people who are meeting the needs,” she added.

Thanks, Brett and Tim, for making it happen.

Posted in print.