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Skwah First Nation rallies to help elders near Chilliwack

With local food supplies stretched thin by panic buying, vulnerable populations are struggling
Left to right: Skwah council member Elia Julian, Margaret Reid and Miel Bernstein. (Raylene Mumford/Facebook)

With Chilliwackians flooding into grocery stores and emptying shelves this week, vulnerable populations have been put in a tough spot.

But a group has stepped up to help, gathering supplies for First Nations elders.

Raylene Mumford works at Skwah (Sqwá) First Nation as Health Manager, overseeing health and wellness.

“I heard our members reaching out about our elders being okay and having enough supplies,” she said. “We have homeless here as well, and big families. I posted about needs in our community and as always my good friend and advocate Margaret Reid rose to the challenge.”

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Mumford and Reid mobilized, and others stepped up to help. Miel Bernstein ran all over town, bargaining to get larger stocks of supplies, and bringing those supplies back to the community. Bricklayer Brewing helped collect funds for Skwah while Pete Charlie and his staff at Anitas Bakery worked double time baking 125 loafs of bread.

”United Way stepped in huge to help,” Mumford added.

Friday morning saw members and administration at Skwah First Nation packing up 65 hampers full of staples like rice, fresh veggies and pet food.

“Elders are our first priority, so we are making sure they are comfortable,” Mumford said. “There is so much more work to go, but it sure makes it so much easier with so many funny, hardworking, caring and compassionate people on your team.”

Mumford said that if anyone wants to contribute, donations are being accepted at the shelter on Skwah.


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Eric Welsh

About the Author: Eric Welsh

I joined the Chilliwack Progress in 2007, originally hired as a sports reporter.
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