Feeding hungry tummies and plenty of fun are on the menu for the annual Lunch with Santa at the Seniors’ Drop-in Centre Nov. 23, hosted by Sprott Shaw College.
This year all the funds raised through the family event will go to Penticton Starfish Pack.
That organization’s mandate is to provide food to local, food-insecure elementary school students.
In partnership with the Penticton Rotary Club and Save-on-Foods, the group currently provides 46 backpacks each week containing nutritious food to a total of five schools.
Officials say this amount is meeting only a fraction of the current need in the community.
Organizer (and executive elf) Zola Goebel of Sprott Shaw said they are currently looking for partners in the community to contribute to the lunch which in the past has had as many as 200 children attend during the day.
People and businesses can help by providing monetary donations, supplies, services or hosting a table/booth with a free activity for kids to participate in.
“The gift baskets we raffle can be valued up to hundreds of dollars and may include everything from books, to stuffed toys, to gift certificates and hotel stays,” said Goebel in a news release. “We provide options for every age group and interest … we’ve even had hockey tickets and airplane rides. We are happy to receive whatever you would like to contribute – no donation is too big or too small.”
Those attending pay a $7.50 entry fee but everything else, including the “gourmet lunch” of home-made macaroni and cheese, hot dogs and juice is free.
Activities range from face painting, bouncy castles, colouring, crafts and photos with Santa.
Everyone attending has the opportunity to enter a draw for one of the gift baskets with their entry ticket and those who bring a non-perishable food item or stocking stuffer will receive an additional raffle draw ticket.
Money is also raised through the sale of tickets for the baskets.
Anyone who can help by making a donation can call 350-770- 2277.
Children must be accompanied by a parent and everyone is required to have a ticket. The Drop-in Centre is located at 2965 South Main St.