The Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council’s Teechuktl (mental health) and Quu’asa program hosts the 8th annual Feed the People on Wednesday, December 11th at the Alberni Athletic Hall. The Teechuktl team is projecting an attendance of around 250 people.
In 2018, they had record-breaking attendance, with well over 200 people packed into Trinity Church, enjoying a hot meal and good company. The large amount of people in the small church encouraged the Quu’asa team to relocate to a larger location, the Athletic Hall.
“Christmas time isn’t always a jolly time for our (Nuu-chah-nulth) people,” Irene Robinson, Quu’asa urban support worker and the organizer of Feed the People says. Robinson reminisced about the late Ray Seitcher, who organized the first Feed the People in 2011.
“It always came from his heart…he just wanted people to be happy.” Robinson continues.
Seitcher also began Teechuktl’s other meal event, the burgers and hotdogs barbecue that happens at the Harbour Quay in June.
“We just want our people to know that you are loved, important and that we hear you.” Says Robinson.
The first Feed the People hosted around 50 guests, and on its eighth annual year it has grown almost five times the size.
They have volunteers from all over the place, from NTC staff, to their own Teechuktl clients, to senior Haa-huu-payak School students helping serve. Haa-huu-payak is also bringing in younger grades to sing and dance before the meal.
A true turkey dinner is planned, with stuffing, vegetables, and lots of chummus. There are care bags to give away that include gloves and toques for the colder season, socks, plus shampoo and conditioner, and much more. Food hampers and door prizes are also available.
Care bags, food hampers and door prizes this year are all aimed for people on the streets. Clothes are warm, the food is easy to open, and doesn’t need to be cooked or refrigerated.
“Caring, and feeding people, it’s very much a part of our culture,” Robinson says.
Feed the People is on December 11th, at the Alberni Athletic Hall. It is an everyone welcome event, doors open at 11, and food is served at noon.