Penticton’s Soupateria got a little help with serving people in need of free lunch Wednesday, as Subway rolled in with subs, cookies and bottled drinks.
The Grewal family, which owns four Subway locations in Penticton, donated 100 of each item, which Emily Beckett with the Soupateria said was a big help, even if it was a quiet day at the soup kitchen.
“It is a quiet day, but everyone is very respectful and cheerful and thankful to be here,” Beckett said. “We really appreciate Subway coming in and donating their time and their volunteers and sandwiches and cookies and drinks and all the local businesses that provide donations.”
The Bench Market brought bread, according to Beckett, who added the Soupateria also gets donations from other businesses like Starbucks, Tim Hortons and Safeway all year.
Local Subway operations manager Manny Grewal said this was the second year his family gave back to the Soupateria for Christmas.
“It’s nice to give back to the community. A lot of these guys are our customers as well,” he said. “It’s nice to give the volunteers a break, too, from having to prepare food, and it’s just something nice to do at this time of year, as well.”
People at the Soupateria had a few options for subs: pizza, ham, veggie and turkey were available, which Grewal said had Subway workers up early.
“This morning we baked all the bread and all the cookies, and we made all the sandwiches as well,” he said. “It ended up being four big bins of sandwiches.”
Sheryl Wilson said Soupateria saved her life in her five years attending, and has since begun volunteering at the soup kitchen for the past three years — and she may be some good competition for Subway.
“I have to brag a bit, because back in the summer there was this one day that we needed 170 sandwiches, and I made them all by myself,” she said with a chuckle.
And for at least a few Soupateria attendees, it was a nice change from the regular meals.
“It’s just good to have a soup kitchen to eat at Christmas time and have a good time,” Willy Falcus said. “If you don’t have family, you have family here, so it’s good to have people get along to have something to eat.”