ON THE FARM
AFTER THE FLOODS Yarrow’s impromptu food hub serves slivers of hope and support to local farmers WORDS BY MICHELLE SUPERLE | PHOTOS BY JETE DEVISSER
D o you need anything to eat? A sandwich? A cup of coffee?” Victoria Kuit was startled by the offer when she slowed down to get a closer look at the roadside stand. Suddenly she recognized an elementary school friend she hadn’t seen for years. “No,” she told her long-lost friend. “I’m fine... why?” “I’m giving meals to the farmers who’ve been flooded out and the volunteers sandbagging to save our community,” was the answer — referring to the November 2021 flooding in Abbotsford. As soon as Kuit heard this she knew she’d toss her hat in the ring to help. But she had no idea the casual exchange would reshape her life for the next several months. “One day I was organizing a few crockpots to distribute,” she recalls. “The next I had semi-trucks full of donated food pulling into my driveway.”
were still in recovery mode themselves. Many were coping with localized flooding in basements, on hobby farms, or from landslides down Vedder Mountain. Kuit grew up in Yarrow, the small Chilliwack town famous for its community spirit. As bad as things were in Yarrow, the f lood victims who’d lost their entire homes and livelihoods were on the Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford. While this postal code distinction matters to municipalities, it made no difference to Kuit. She helps everyone, 24/7. The dairy farm Adria Janzen runs with her husband and their teenage sons is on one side of Boundary Rd., while her father-in-law’s chicken barns are on the other. Both were flooded on November 17th, 2021. With her husband helping his dad as much as possible across the street, and Janzen milking some of their cows at a farm where they were temporarily located (their livestock were sheltering at eight different farms), she had no time for anything else.
When the Yarrow Food Hub got underway, Yarrowites
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