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Philippine Business Society delivers groceries to High River Filipino families in isolation

HIGH RIVER, ALTA. — About 100 Filipinos living in High River and Okotoks got a special delivery Sunday of basic necessities, courtesy of the Philippine Business Society of Alberta (PBSA).

High River resident Ofelia Tumaneng and her husband both had COVID-19. They have since recovered but are still self-isolating in their home because their daughter is still showing symptoms of the virus.

Tumaneng says the last four weeks have been challenging.

"Oh my god, it‘s like a disaster," said Tumaneng.

Tumaneng said her family has not left their house, making everyday things like picking up groceries quite difficult.

"Been waiting for food because my body needs food," Tumaneng said with a laugh from her front porch.

About 12 members of the PBSA made the trip down the QE2 from Edmonton to southern Alberta to deliver groceries to Filipinos affected by COVID-19.

"It’s small. But it‘s better than nothing," said Peter Codizal of PBSA.

"The chances of them having their own family to help them out and support them who may not be sick, it‘s probably pretty slim."

PBSA said about 100 Filipinos living in the two communities were able to receive groceries on their front doorstep Sunday.The deliveries amounted to about $10,000 of groceries.

‘Really rewarding‘

"It’s really rewarding, being able to do this," said Codizal.

"But what really got me was when the neighbours were saying how much they appreciate what we’re doing."

For Tumaneng and her family, these groceries come at the right time.

"It will help us a lot because as of now, Alberta Health Services did not allow my daughter yet to go out," she said.

"Me and my husband (are) already okay, but my daughter, they didn’t release her yet."

The Cargill meat processing plant, north of High River, is the site of the largest COVID-19 outbreak in the province with nearly 1,000 employees contracting the virus. Many of the workers are from the Filipino community.

As of Sunday, the province’s website showed 287 active cases in High River with 247 recoveries.

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