Two local organizations team up to host drive thru pandemic Christmas meal.

Hillary Johnson

The Kermode friendship society partnered with The Gitlaxdax Nisga'a Terrace Society to host their annual Christmas dinner last night, but this year's event looked very different from past gatherings. Executive Director Cal Albright said due to the pandemic, their original plans for a sit-down dinner had to be modified dramatically to ensure they followed health officials' regulations.

"As you can see, cars are lining up in front of our parking lot, so they don't even need to get out of their cars. Most of them are pre-registered, so we know they are coming. We know what they need, so we just hand them the food, and they drive off. There is also another group of staff for people who don't have transportation. We've got staff delivering hampers to homes. So again, we are all wearing masks; we are following all procedures. This is how you have to adapt under the circumstances, and I think we are doing a really good job."

Albright says they were able to make 800 plates of food and are very grateful for their partnership with The Gitlaxdax Nisga'a Terrace Society. Chief Executive Officer Ben Haizimsque was pleased to be part of the event.

"This is a combined effort to make sure we include everyone in the Terrace area and service area that we can share a meal with them. As you know, pandemic restrictions have changed how we interact with our community, but that doesn't mean we should stop. So we are very grateful for the partnership efforts with Kermode, and the event itself is turning out quite well."

Albright said the event took about six months to organize with the help of nearly 60 staff members and a little bit of Christmas magic.

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