A volunteer-run initiative that offers a free lunch outdoors to people in Salmon Arm in need of food, warmth or conversation has received a boost in its efforts to keep people warm while they eat.
Food with Friends, as it’s called, uses propane fire rings so people can sit in chairs in physically distanced circles and stay warm.
On Thursday, Feb. 11, manager Marilyn Williams at the Armstrong Regional Co-op’s Salmon Arm Gas Bar presented organizer Chrissy Deye with a $500 gift card for propane.
“We use as many as five propane tanks per each lunch, and assist folks living rough with their propane needs,” Deye said. “Propane fire rings help folks stay warm and are a social hub at our lunches. As well of course we have cook stoves to keep food and beverages hot.”
She said the co-op’s generosity means the lunch program will be able to make it through to warmer days. She also added a thank you to Melanie Bennett from the Shuswap Food Action Society who approached the co-op on their behalf.
Deye said that during February, when residents fill up at the co-op using Shuswap Food Action’s membership number, 101001, the funds will help both the society and Food With Friends.
The lunch program runs in Salmon Arm in the parking lot behind the Crossroads Free Methodist Church, down the lane from the back of the School District 83 building. Meals are provided on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at noon.