Penticton volunteers step up for those who need it most

For those who are alone or have nowhere else to go, the door is always open at the Penticton Soupateria

Carol McRae and Franco De Michelis are among the Soupateria volunteers who prepare daily meals for Penticton’s needy.

For those who are alone or have nowhere else to go, the door is always open at the Penticton Soupateria

“It’s happy, it’s warm, it’s welcoming. It’s a feeling of family because basically it’s a community of extended family for people who normally attend the soup kitchen,” said Lorraine Bailey, past president of the Soupateria.

It is with those welcoming actions that hundreds find comfort in every day, especially during the holidays, including this Monday when they host their annual Thanksgiving dinner. A tradition for over 15 years, Bailey said there is no shortage of volunteers. Many offer their kitchen talents three months in advance to ensure others aren’t left behind. She said the community has always been generous offering support in the form of donated turkeys to desserts and all the trimmings.

“The dinners are for those in need,” said Bailey. “People who are in an economic situation where they can’t afford a turkey dinner at home, or they don’t have the facilities to cook a turkey dinner at home, or they’re by themselves.”

A regular at the dinner, Johnny I (who asked his last name not be used), said his favourite part of the day is the smell of turkey and all the trimmings wafting in the air. Thankful for what he is offered, he is giving back as a volunteer this year.

“It’s a great place to have a sit-down dinner like grandma used to make,” he said.

The Soupateria is open to serve lunch every day of the year, but for major holidays it becomes a haven for those who have nowhere else to go.

“It’s somewhere to go when you don’t have anywhere. It’s a social place; nice, calm, everyone gets along,” said Catherine Miller, who’s used Soupateria alongside her family in the past, but will be attending Thanksgiving by herself this year.

Expecting about 200 people to attend kitchen organizer Grauer has already put many hours into getting it all ready. Volunteering alongside him is Dawn Taman, the dining room organizer. She said no matter how many people show up, they will make sure they all get fed a good meal. Taman said for her the special ingredient is being able to volunteer her time for others.

“I just like to help people,” Taman said. “They’re very kind people, nice people, and they need a little bit of help, so whatever I can do I’ll do.”

The last special meal the Soupateria served was at Easter.

“These people have gone all summer and are ready to just sit down,” said Taman.

The hand up to those in need has become more of an issue recently. Joey Cyr, the community services supervisor at the Salvation Army in Penticton, said his organization’s food bank program sees about 4,000 people each month come through their doors, and that number remains steady through Thanksgiving. He said the Salvation Army is currently focusing it resources on December’s Christmas hamper program.

The feast at Soupateria is open to everybody and takes place at 150 Orchard Ave. between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 12.

Other sit-down meals throughout the year are held on Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Easter Monday.

 

Just Posted

Vandalism closes public washrooms in Penticton’s Okanagan Lake Park indefinitely

A post by the city’s Facebook said the damage is ‘quite extensive’

Okanagan Water Board opens floodgates with call for grant applications

Water Conservation and Quality Improvement program open from Armstrong to Osoyoos

Community safety, recreation and culture first topics of discussion in Penticton’s 2020 budget

Penticton RCMP clocked roughly 6,000 hours of overtime in ten months, at a cost of $422k

Three-vehicle crash in Penticton sends one to hospital

The Penticton RCMP are looking to speak with anyone who may have witnessed the collision

City releases tips and tricks to stay safe over holiday season

Included below is a list of revised garbage and recycling days, and rules for curbside collection

Video: Magicians and Bubble Wonders highlight Penticton Shriners Variety Show

The annual fundraiser filled the Cleland Community Theatre on Sunday.

Raptors fans show Kawhi the love in his return to Toronto

Leonard receives championship ring, leads new club to win

Process to identify those killed in Gabriola plane crash could take days

Canadian flight museum suggests Alex Bahlsen of Mill Bay died in Tuesday’s crash

Disturbing find: Shuswap family seeking Christmas tree locates several animal carcasses

Black bear, a coyote and five deer found dumped in gravel pit west of Salmon Arm

RCMP uncover meth in arrest of Sicamous woman linked to alleged pellet gun shooting

Police say methamphetamine and other drugs found in car driven by suspect

Pawsative Pups: Help your dog love their crate

Lisa Davies is a new columnist for Black Press who writes about dog training

Spark Joy: The art of giving and receiving

Barb and Wendy at Simply Spark Joy help you to create a clutter free home on the Black Press Media

Coldstream surf shop welcomes winter with paddle

Winter Chill event Saturday, Dec. 21, on Kal Lake is ‘food’-raiser for food bank

‘Honest mistake:’ RCMP says B.C. cannabis shop can keep image of infamous Mountie

Sam Steele wearing military, not RCMP uniform in image depicted in Jimmy’s Cannabis window

Most Read