Tamara Meggitt will be hitting the highway early Friday morning pulling a horse trailer full of food to Port Hardy, Port McNeill, and Woss, communities hit hard by the ongoing forestry strike affecting 3,000 people and their families.
“We are getting stories daily, people opening up, people losing their vehicles, losing their homes, not able to feed their children. The school lunch programs that have doubled in size, there’s a huge, huge need in the community for basics like food,’ said Meggitt.
Thousands of non-striking people are also caught in the middle, like Tamara’s husband who owns a trucking company with 15 logging trucks on the north island. They’re all sitting idle right now.
Thousands of families across the island hit hard by the strike. Three thousand workers to United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 in coastal British Columbia walked off the Western Forest Products job on July 1.
“It makes me feel sick to my stomach,” added Meggitt. “Absolutely sick to my stomach that hard-working men and women are suffering like this.”
Tamara Meggitt and her friend Rona Doucette started a Facebook page, then held a food drive and before you know it $5,000 was raised. Three thousand dollars have been spent on groceries and fresh produce will be picked up on Port McNeill.
“I’m just a wife and a mom and I lived through the strike of ’86 and I know what it was like when that strike hit and how difficult it was just to feed a family of five,” said Doucette.
The 1986 strike by the IWA (International Woodworkers of America) lasted 18 weeks as thousands of forestry workers walked off the job in a fight over contracting out.
“What the end game is, what the end result is nobody really knows but at the end of the day people are going hungry and that’s not ok,” said Meggitt.
There will be more food drives in the coming months and others are doing what they can.
If you’re near 2926 Woodland Drive in Port McNeill tonight, there’s a haunted house and a box to leave donations in to help those who need it.
You can email Tamara Meggitt at [email protected] for more information about fundraising or visit https://www.facebook.com/North-South-VI-Logging-Communities-United-122099425851743/