Volunteers were busy serving up hot meals at the eighth annual Festive Street Lunch at All Saints’ Anglican Church on Saturday, Dec. 17.
People filled the church hall on 27th Street for a free turkey lunch, dessert, coffee and a gift bag full of scarves, hats, gloves, warm socks, a bag of candy and a “fun item” of their choice.
Deena, who declined to have her last name published, said she’s been coming to the annual event for a number of years.
“The meal is exquisite, the people, the service is exquisite, the food is made with love and we look forward to coming here every year. It just makes our Christmas,” Deena said. “When you eat your meal you can taste the love that’s put into every bite.”
Kelowna magician Leif David went from table to table performing his mind-bending tricks, while Jim Leonard played holiday music on his keyboard.
“The idea is not so much just to fill a belly, it’s more about bringing a bit of light and joy into people’s lives and hearts, even if it’s just for a short time,” said Michael Robinson, lunch coordinator. “Giving people a lift, that’s what it’s about.”
Centrepieces and place mats at the tables featured the artwork of Beairsto Elementary School students.
The Street Lunch isn’t just for the holiday season; the lunch is put on every Saturday of the year from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Robinson gave a “huge thank you” to all the groups that participate in the Saturday Street Lunch throughout the year, and to the people who donated to cover the gift bags. He also gave special thanks to Stussi Sport for donating hats to give out.
Robinson said this year’s lunch came together all thanks to donations from the community. The organizers didn’t have the benefit of an event sponsor this year.
“We would love to have sponsorship next year,” he said. “It would be just such a blessing for us.”