Ashley Smethurst and her husband Matthew and children Julia and Kai helped prepare over 230 meals for people in the community for Christmas this year. (Contributed)

Ashley Smethurst and her husband Matthew and children Julia and Kai helped prepare over 230 meals for people in the community for Christmas this year. (Contributed)

Penticton family gives back with hundreds of Christmas meals for the community

The Smethursts cooked and delivered over 230 meals

It took a week of preparation and a week of cooking, for Ashley Smethurst and her family to serve up more than 230 meals to people in the Penticton community this holiday season.

In 2019, the family invited those who didn’t have family of their own to join them for Christmas dinner, but COVID-19 made it impossible to do that again.

READ MORE: Family opens home to strangers for Christmas

Instead, beginning in August, Smethurst started organizing and posting on Facebook to let people know they had an option for Christmas. Then came the planning, the prepping, cooking, and finally delivering the food.

“There are so many grateful people,” said Smethurst. “For some, it might not be much, but for others, it means everything for them.”

Ashley, her husband Matthew, neighbour Nana Dee, and two volunteer delivery drivers dropped off the meals. Most were delivered on Christmas Day, while the Smethursts delivered a few dozen more on Boxing Day to people around Victory Church and the soup kitchen.

“I am also 17 weeks pregnant with our rainbow baby,” said Smethurst. “So it definitely took a lot out of us, but was totally worth it.”

Twelve turkeys went into the dinners, along with many pounds of vegetables, potatoes and cranberries.

The family also took to the streets in November to deliver holiday treat-bags of home-baked cookies, kettle corn and more.

READ MORE: Penticton family hands out 200 treat bags to neighbours

The family is ready to do it again next year, although they aren’t sure if they’ll be making as many meals as they did this time.

“It’s a family tradition now,” said Smethurst. “The need depends on if COVID is still hurting our community. I noticed last year without COVID, there were only 53 [who came to dinner] so there was a much bigger demand this year.

“If people are hungry, we will feed them.”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Christmas holiday

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

C.E. “Ned” Bentley owned a garage on Shaughnessy Avenue, now Lakeshore Drive in Summerland. Bentley later went on to serve on Summerland’s council and was recognized with the Good Citizen Award in 1939. (Summerland Museum photo)
Former Summerland reeve once ran garage

C.E. “Ned” Bentley was a prominent figure in Summerland’s past.

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Penticton’s Law Courts.	(File)
Penticton beach attacker to serve two more years behind bars

Thomas Kruger-Allen was sentenced in a Penticton court on Friday

Premier John Horgan looks on during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, February 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Premier touches on protest, housing controversy in Penticton

Protesters have said they plan to go on despite police warning

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

Paramjit Bogarh, connected to the murder of his wife in Vernon 35 years ago, has been relerased on full parole, one year after he was sentenced to five years in prison for accessory after the fact. (Contributed)
Full parole for ex-Okanagan man who helped wife’s alleged killer escape

Paramjit Bogarh pleaded guilty to accessory to murder after helping brother flee Canada

The Princeton Traditional Music Festival, normally held in August, was denied a grant due to COVID. (File photo)
COVID makes some of the 2021 grant decisions for Princeton council

Municipality doles out funds while striving to meet policy

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

Most Read