In 2020, approximately 68 people per day relied on Penticton’s Soupateria for food. (Jesse Day - Western News)

In 2020, approximately 68 people per day relied on Penticton’s Soupateria for food. (Jesse Day - Western News)

Penticton’s Soupateria facing uncertainty due to dwindling grant money, COVID restrictions

The Soupateria served over 25,000 meals in 2020

Through the entire pandemic, the small group of volunteers at the Penticton Soupateria have been as busy ever, serving over 25,000 hot meals to people in need in 2020.

That averages out to 68 meals served every day.

The Soupateria was forced to close briefly in March as they could not have the necessary number of volunteers in the building due to social distancing rules.

However, after receiving grants from the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen and the United Way, as well as generous donations from the community, the Soupateria was able to re-open with a smaller, paid kitchen staff of five employees in April.

The Soupateria has also nixed dine-in service since returning from the brief hiatus, opting to install a “grab and go” window to facilitate social distancing.

The Penticton Soupateria normally operates solely thanks to volunteers and, since it has no government funding, relies on donations from the community to operate.

Kitchen manager Tracy Comber said she’s extremely grateful to be able to continue providing this essential service to the community. In recent weeks, the Soupateria has been giving out upwards of 60 meals a day to people, many of whom are seniors struggling to get by on pension payments.

“Our clients are a mixture of people from homeless people, to marginalized people and a lot of seniors,” Comber said. “I’d say probably over half of our clients are seniors that just can’t quite make it to the next pension.”

However, Comber is uncertain about the future of the Soupateria as they currently only have enough money to continue employing paid staff until the middle of May. The Soupateria will remain open no matter what, Comber promised.

“I hope one day they can put us out of business where we don’t have people that are going hungry,” she said.

But right now the reality is there are many people in Penticton who cannot afford to feed themselves, making places like the Soupateria essential to their survival, Comber explained.

Until the day comes where no one is left hungry, Comber said the best thing you can do to help is to donate.

Donations can be made any time in-person, by mail or online. For more information visit the Soupateria’s website.

READ MORE: Hungry can enjoy Thanksgiving meal thanks to Soupateria volunteers

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Charity and Donations

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

Just Posted

How many youth are experiencing homelessness in Penticton?

Foundry Penticton and the City have partnered on a youth survey open until March 13

(File photo)
COLUMN: How to help your young reluctant reader

Library has resources to help children

(Pacific Coastal Airlines photo)
Potential COVID-19 exposure on March 1 Penticton flight

Interior Health lists a public exposure for the Pacific Air Flight from Vancouver on March 1

The Town of Osoyoos is looking into allowing two food trucks at the downtown plaza over the summer, which would require updates to several town policies and bylaws. (Kevin Clark - Black Press Media File)
Osoyoos council to weigh allowing additional downtown food trucks

The proposal would be aimed to benefits the summer’s downtown plaza

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

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

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Multiple people were injured at a Vernon home following an early-morning break-in Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
Multiple people left injured following break-and-enter in Vernon

Police believe the early-morning break-in was targeted and not a threat to the general public

Isaac Gilbert is running for council in the by-election for Jake Kimberley’s vacated seat. (Submitted)
First candidate for Penticton council by-election makes himself known

Isaac Gilbert is making a second run at council after receiving 19.63 per cent of the vote in 2018

Kelowna General Hospital (File photo)
Second COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna General Hospital

One patient and one staff member on Unit have tested positive for the virus.

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Most Read