The Tla’amin Food Bank Program is stepping up its work, as the Nation remains locked down due to a COVID-19 outbreak.

Staff are preparing hampers for those in need as Tla’amin Nation, just outside Powell River, now has ten confirmed cases of the virus.

Leaders say many other people in the community are also showing symptoms, so they arranged a drive-thru testing site at its health centre this past Thursday where over 50 members got tested.

UPDATE: Tla’amin Nation records new COVID-19 cases, extends shelter in place order

All but one access point has been barricaded and people are now being asked to stop attempting to go in and out of the community.

Tla’amin Nation Food Options (Photo supplied by: Tla’amin Nation/Facebook)

Meanwhile, members seeking help for things like grocery delivery and essential supplies, or anyone wanting to make a donation, can do so now.

“I shop every morning at 7:00am and then we get to work assembling care packages for our deliveries,” says food security team member Brandi Marriot.

“We have been doing contactless drop-offs of essentials items to Elders and those in isolation. It’s a hard time for our community and we don’t need people worrying about the essentials.”

Marriot adds that she’s grateful to be working with an amazing team on the front lines and those behind the scenes.

She says other team members include Sharlene Timothy, Serena Barnes, Andrya Paul and Paula Stewart.

“My heart is overflowing with pride for our Tla’amin members coming together so strongly and proudly for our Nation and our people.”

The food bank also has dog and cat food available.

If you have questions, requests, or would like to make a donation, you’re encouraged to call the Tla’amin helpline at (604) 578-0447.

You can also connect on the Powell River Mutual Aid Facebook site.