Calgary support groups help out workers from JBS Foods plant in Brooks
BROOKS -- Few communities have felt the impact of COVID-19 more than the city of Brooks, but on Sunday residents also felt the impact of the help that was given.
“Grocery items that help sustain them for two weeks. Without having to worry about when to go for the groceries again,” said executive director of Action Dignity Marichu Antonio. “Rice for them is really good. Frozen fish especially if they come from an island.”
Eleven support groups from around Calgary all donated items or gave financial contributions to help Filipino employees of the JBS meat packing plant affected by COVID-19. Bayanihan, an informal group out of Brooks, which is a Filipino value that means “being heroes to each other” made a call to ActionDignity and prepared a list of families of in need.
The group made sure they had comfort food while also providing them with protective equipment as well.
In total 120 Filipino families with members working at the JBS plant benefited from the donation.
“We stopped work for almost one month and we don’t have time to go buy groceries because we’re too quarantined for 14 days, “ said JBS meat packing plant employee in quarantine Normer Anover
“To help me like that. I am very lucky because I am here in Canada,” said JBS meat employee in quarantine Bennie Becere.
“It a big help for us. Especially in this little community,” said JBS meat packing employee in quarantine Eric Calata.
The help won’t be forgetten by the community anytime soon.
“For another community, the size of Calgary too reach out to the city of Brooks, it’s an indescribable community and it will resonate with our two communities for a long time to come” said the mayor of Brooks Barry Morishita.
Brooks is referred to as the 100 Hellos, due to diverse demographic. Sunday’s food drive was targeted at helping out the affected Filipino population, but ActionDignity wants reach out to others as well. Many people from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan depend on JBS for their livelihoods and the next donation may focus on them.