Soup’s on early most days at the Yarrow Food Hub.
The flood waters have receded but the Yarrow Food Hub is still feeding people, filling coffee cups, handing out gift cards, and rebuilding supplies.
Getting hit with wave after wave of severe weather has only added insult to injury for farmers and residents whose homes are still uninhabitable from catastrophic flooding in and around the Sumas Prairie.
“It’s terrible,” said Victoria Kuit, who founded the Yarrow Food Hub in order to directly help her Chilliwack and Abbotsford neighbours.
She starting feeding people 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.
She created the hub as a “safe space” offering home-cooked meals and supplies to those in need.
It grew exponentially from there.
Kuit says she has spent almost every day dressed in snow pants and winter coat, running the outdoor hub from a sheltered space in her backyard. Some days they feed hundreds.
“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.”
Many people are feeling very deflated, after trying to bounce back after all the blows.
“It’s pretty intense to hear all the stories and take on the emotions of all those people,” Kuit admitted. “It has lead me to tears and sobbing a few times at night. My heart breaks for all of them.”
As the needs in the flood-ravaged area have shifted from emergency response, to assisting with rebuilding and recovery, they are still very much in need of 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 dawned, it’s been down to a trickle. Some may not realize that the flooded folks are still in dire straits.
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, grocery store cards.
In terms of rebuild material donations they need drywall, insulation and poly, and do not need plumbing or heating supplies at the moment. The food hub is also accepting new or very gently used small appliances, like toasters, microwaves, air fryers, or coffee makers.
Donations (or messages) via emailed etransfers to firstname.lastname@example.org
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abbotsfordB.C. Floods 2021BC FloodchilliwackSevere weather