The flood waters have receded but the Yarrow Food Hub is still feeding people, handing out gift cards, and rebuilding supplies.
The severe winter weather has only added insult to injury for farmers and residents whose homes are still uninhabitable from catastrophic flooding around the Sumas Prairie.
“It’s terrible,” said Victoria Kuit, who founded the Yarrow Food Hub to help her Chilliwack and Abbotsford neighbours.
She starting feeding hungry folks on Nov. 19 from her No. 3 Road property just days after the flood waters hit.
“We created the food hub where anyone could come, no name needed, and we would feed them.
“When some of them walked through the yard we could see by the looks on their faces they needed help, so we just helped,” Kuit said.
It’s been very emotional for weeks.
She created the hub as a “safe space” offering home-cooked meals and supplies to those in need. It grew from there.
Kuit has spent her days wearing a snow suit, running the outdoor hub from a sheltered space in her backyard, sometimes feeding hundreds daily among the 1,100 households that suffered flooding.
“We have been working to assist farmers and flood victims, to get their houses gutted, to provide clothes, work gear, food, PPE, blankets, heaters, and meals to feed work crews.”
But here’s the rub. As the needs have shifted from emergency response during the flooding, to assisting with rebuilding in the flood zone, they are hoping for additional community support, volunteers and donations.
“With looters, frozen and busted pipes, the needs are changing daily out here,” Kuit said.
Donated resources were steady up to Christmas. But since the New Year, it’s down to a trickle. Some may not realize that the flooded folks are still in dire straits.
There are still a dozen households in Yarrow, and hundreds on the Sumas Prairie flats out of their homes.
Some are living in hotels, or staying with friends or family as their homes undergo the time-consuming remediation and repair. If the weather wasn’t bad enough, some of the structures are being invaded by rats, with drywall and floors being redone.
The hub has been using all its resources for items like heaters and dehumidifiers, meal packages and more.
“We still need immense community support,” she said.
They are seeking donated rebuild materials, contractors with discounted services, skilled trades people, volunteers, as well as gift cards, gas cards, groceries. Donations via emailed etransfers can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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