Scrumptious Thanksgiving meal dished out by Penticton Soupateria volunteers
There was a steady stream of people entering Penticton’s Soupateria on Thanksgiving Monday as volunteers dished out scrumptious holiday meals for around 120 people.
Volunteers spent the past few days preparing eight turkeys and all the fixings, including ham, potatoes, carrots, peas and dessert.
The clientele includes those coping with loneliness and colder temperatures.
They are a cross section of society including all ages from single mothers with children, to those who may be homeless, to senior citizens.
Many face the challenges of unemployment, seasonally-based employment or fixed incomes.
Others are dealing with physical, emotional or mental challenges.
“I’ve seen quite a few young people come in and quite a few of our seniors that walk through our doors,” volunteer co-ordinator Lori Lalonde said.
The Penticton Community Soupateria Outreach is a volunteer-based charitable organization and relies solely on donations.
Lalonde said local businesses and individuals contributed food and monetary donations to make the large feast possible.
“We’re blessed enough and fortunate enough to be able to experience it so our clients should be able to as well,” she said.
Naramata resident Chris Grauer is celebrating 25 years as a volunteer at the soup kitchen.
He is in charge of arguably the most important Thanksgiving staple, the turkeys, and cooked eight of them at the Naramata Centre Society. He said it has a larger kitchen.
“I’ve never wanted for anything in my life, so I just feel this need within me to help others because a lot of folks, especially in this day and age, a lot of folks need a hand,” he said.
The Penticton Soupateria is open 365 days of the year and serves hot soup, sandwiches and dessert every afternoon.
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