The co-owner of the Elite Restaurant on Main Street is more than happy to spend the evening of Dec. 25 with those looking for a place to eat, drink and be merry.
“This has become a family tradition. It’s what we do on Christmas Day,” Wood said.
“I quite enjoy making this happen.”
Volunteer staff help put together the free meal open to anyone and everyone.
“It’s nice. It’s a warm place to come in with food,” Wood said, noting they have yet to run out and are often sending leftovers to the soup kitchen.
There is growing concern in the Okanagan after a recent census revealed Penticton’s homeless problem is much more serious than originally thought. A recent survey conducted by various local non profits found nearly 130 homeless people in the south Okanagan city, double than what was expected. Of those, nearly half have been homeless for more than a year and the census found that 90 per cent of those surveyed suffered from mental health issues.Global Okanagan News story
Penticton’s soup kitchen is once again making life a little brighter for the needy on Christmas Day.
Board member Lauraine Bailie said they are expecting about 150 people to show up at the Soupateria on Dec. 25.
“At this stage in our lives, we are able to give back and that’s what we do,” she said.
Chris Grauer, the chief purchaser and cook, is organizing the traditional turkey dinner and ham feast.
People will then be invited to participate in the festive sit-down dinner.
The holiday dinner marks the end of another busy year for the soup kitchen.
Bailie hasn’t tallied the numbers yet, but said they expect to exceed the 46,000 lunches served in 2015.
She credits the growth on a number of factors.
“The collapse of the oil industry in Alberta has had a ripple effect on service industries, and there’s the lack of affordable housing,” she said. “The number of homeless people has quadrupled here, to about 160 people, and that’s making it pretty grim out there.”
Christmas dinner will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Soupateria on Orchard Avenue.
There will be a special luncheon, cafeteria style, on Boxing Day and a sit down dinner on New Year’s Day, also from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Read the full story at Castanet
Staff members Curtis Chapman, Kyle Dietrich, Patty Dingle, Mike Darvill, and GM Krista Bousfield of the Penticton Canadian Wholesale Club present a check for $1028.30 to Soupateria President Roderick Strike (far right) and to long time Soupateria volunteer Chris Grauer (far left).
This donation was raised by patrons and local businesses who shopped at the Wholesale Club this past August.
The Wholesale Club also donates supplies on a regular basis to the Soupateria, who by volunteers, provide a free soup and sandwich service to “Those in Need” at the Outreach Center on Orchard St 365 days a year.
Penticton soup kitchen volunteer gives back with his family
Robert Rabello spent part of his Thanksgiving Sunday volunteering at Penticton’s Soupateria. Robert, who lives in Summerland, was aided by his wife and two sons. They all agreed there was no better way for this family to spend time together during the long weekend.
But for Robert, serving the hungry is more than a passion. It’s something that hits very close to home.Global BC News News story