When a Squamish minor hockey team had their game cancelled against Chilliwack after recent flooding, the players decided to do a food drive for flood victims.
“On the night they were going to play, when they found out their game was cancelled, they went right out and started collecting donations,” said Matthew Campbell, director of the Cloverdale Community Kitchen.
The Squamish Eagles U13 A2 team then went down to a local grocery store in Squamish and stood out front for several hours. They made a sign that read, “Help us fill a hockey net with food to support the Fraser Valley Flood Victims.” They ended up collecting $530 in cash and numerous boxes of food.
“But they needed someone to deliver the food to Chilliwack,” explained Campbell. “They actually called me up after googling ways to support flood victims in the eastern Fraser Valley. They saw that we were sending trucks out there like crazy.”
Campbell was in the middle of trying to figure out how he was going to collect the food from up Howe Sound when he got a second call from the minor hockey team to tell him they’d actually be in the neighbourhood.
“They called me again and said, ‘We’re playing down there on Sunday.’ So I arranged to pick up the food at the arena.”
The Eagles played the Cloverdale Colts U13 A2 team Nov. 28 at Cloverdale Arena. After the game, Campbell arrived with the Kitchen’s delivery truck and the players helped load the van.
“The truck with their food on it is heading out to Chilliwack today (Nov. 29),” noted Campbell. “It’s going to help people out there and have a big impact immediately.”
Campbell said he’s sent four truckloads out to Chilliwack already and each truckload adds up to 20,000 pounds. He drops most of his donations off at Camp Charis, which is supporting about 250 people affected by the floods.
“We’ve been sending truckloads of food to them.”
The Community Kitchen truck has made four runs out to Chilliwack and the Kitchen has also sent out several people with smaller trucks filled with food. After Camp Charis, food has also been delivered to Ruth and Naomi House.
“We’ve been able to send out about 80,000 pounds of food with our truck and we’ve sent out another 20,000 pounds with the other smaller trucks. So, I’d say we’ve sent about 100,000 pounds of food and other necessary items to Chilliwack so far.”
He said the people they are supporting lost everything, including clothing. Campbell estimates the Kitchen has delivered between 250 and 300 boxes of clothing to those in need already.
“We’ve been clothing people like crazy, a lot of people, especially migrant workers,” Campbell added. “We’ve been collecting clothing here and sending it out to them.”
The Community Kitchen will be in full support mode for the Eastern Fraser Valley until at least the New Year.
“We’ll continue to meet the need as we are able.”
Campbell said despite all the help and donations they’ve already received, they still need more.
“We are always in need of food donations and other household items, but we’re actually in need of cash right now too, to help cover the cost of getting the food out there.”
Campbell said if anyone wants to donate money to help get the support to flood victims, they can stop by the Kitchen’s office, or they can donate on their website at mycck.ca.
If anyone wants to donate food, toiletries, and other much needed items, such as diapers, baby food, or wipes, they can drop them off at the Community Kitchen Monday to Thursday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and on Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon.
The Cloverdale Community Kitchen is located at 5337 180th Street in Cloverdale.