Tamara Meggitt, one of the organizers behind Loonies for Loggers, holds one of many Christmas hampers in her Royston home waiting for distribution to logging families across the Island this week. Photo by Erin Haluschak

Hamper distribution continues this week for striking Island loggers

Loonies For Loggers assisting with Christmas hampers

The holiday season aside, this week is a very busy week for Tamara Meggitt.

As one of the organizers for Loonies For Loggers, Meggitt, along with her husband and other volunteers, are packing the final boxes to prepare for distribution to families across Vancouver Island.

Since July 1, nearly 3,000 workers with Western Forest Products have been on strike. Talks between the company and United Steelworks (USW) Local 1937-1 have stalled.

The initiative, which began in early fall, focused on basic necessities, along with Christmas presents for children, available to families of striking workers.

On Monday, distribution of Christmas hampers began in the north Island, with the mid-and-south Island distribution continuing this week.

Meggitt said the organization is assisting around 3,000 families from Port Hardy to Sooke, and even Powell River.

“We’ve got more than $80,000 in (cash) donation, about $10,000 in food donations, $20,000 in toys and thousands of dollars in gift cards.”

She added logging plays an instrumental role for many Island families, along with communities – particularly those in the north Island where the industry employs many residents – are feeling the effect of the strike as well.

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