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Rotary clubs in Salmon Arm step up again to provide Christmas dinners for all

Anyone who would like a Christmas dinner but won’t have one is asked to pick up free ticket
The three Salmon Arm Rotary clubs, First United Church and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church have teamed up, along with the food banks and social service agencies, to provide 600 Christmas dinners-to-go on Dec. 25 to members of the community. (File photo)

Rotary clubs in Salmon Arm are doing their best to ensure residents who want a Christmas dinner can have one.

Once again the Shuswap, Salmon Arm and Daybreak Rotary clubs, with help from local churches, are providing a takeaway dinner – turkey, stuffing, vegetables and dessert – on Christmas Day, Dec. 25.

The food will be prepared at the Sorrento Centre and the individual dinners-to-go will be assembled for pick up in Salmon Arm by volunteers at First United Church, 450 Okanagan Ave., and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 60 First St. SE. The dinners will be available for pick up at the two churches from noon to 3 p.m.

To access the free meal, people are encouraged to get tickets ahead of time.

Tickets will be available at the Salvation Army Food Bank, the 5th Avenue Seniors Centre, the Seniors’ Resource Centre, Second Harvest Food Bank, the Shuswap Family Centre, the SAFE Society, Churches Thrift Shop, the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Hudson Thrift Shoppe and possibly other locations.

Six hundred meals will be prepared so the tickets help organizers know if there will be enough food.

John Hansen of the Shuswap Rotary Club, who has organized volunteers for the dinners for years, said the clubs are hoping next year they can go back to a sit-down meal for all who would like to attend.

“A lot of people after Covid, they’re still shut in, they’re worried about coming out,” he said.

He also noted that this year, if anyone who wants a dinner but is unable to pick it up, volunteers will deliver it.

“The dinner will be available to anyone who will be alone or wouldn’t be cooking dinner or are unable to – for any reason – if they don’t have the money, if they’re shut in and not planning on doing that…” Hanson added.

He said the three Rotary clubs are contributing equally to the cost of the meals and each is providing volunteers, as are the two churches.

Last year’s event was definitely a success, he said, although not all meals were picked up. He said they were given to Second Harvest, however, so were not wasted. Nonetheless, he’s hoping all the meals will be eaten on Christmas Day this year.

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Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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