AmeriCorps volunteers assist Tlingit and Haida with supply distribution

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) – Trying to avoid a repeat from last winter when store shelves were bare in many small towns and villages in southeast, the Tlingit and Haida Central Council teamed up with the United Way of Southeast Alaska to bring in much-needed supplies.

Corey Padron, Emergency Operations Administrator, for the Tlingit and Haida Central Council, admitted supplies were hard to come by last winter due to the reduced ferry and barge service in outlying areas.

“The bare shelves with toilet paper and soups were scary. Costco and other areas were getting low. That is where these villages shop to get their supplies. There were absolutely bare shelves in smaller communities. That is one of the reasons we are sending these emergency food supplies.”

Padron said the AmeriCorps volunteers provided hours of labor and really helped the effort.

The goal is to have at least one week of emergency food on hand in all southeast villages.

Padron said if one village gets hit hard than a neighboring village will have supplies that can help get them through.

They have created Conex boxes with shelves filled with personal protective equipment, emergency supplies, generators, and food to try and help prepare the smaller communities.

They will use the barge and ferry systems to get the supplies out.

Padron said they want the supplies to be in place before the harsh winter months come.

“The ferry can be a little inconsistent so we are pushing to get these supplies out while the weather is nicer and before there is another surge of COVID-19 cases,” he added.

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