The pandemic may have slowed or stopped many activities in Salmon Arm, but it hasn’t dampened the desire to support others.
The three Salmon Arm Rotary clubs have teamed up with two churches to make sure residents in need can still have a good meal – 600 of them actually – on Christmas Day.
Norm Brown, president of the Rotary Club of Salmon Arm, said the idea came to him because he’s carved turkeys on Christmas morning for a few years for the annual community dinner. When he heard about how the Rotary Club in Penticton held its lobster fest and served 700 while still following pandemic protocols, he decided it could be done in Salmon Arm.
His club, along with the Shuswap Rotary Club and the Salmon Arm Daybreak Rotary Club, in concert with First United and Broadview Evangelical Free churches, will be providing up to 600 individual meals. They will be packaged in take-out containers in brown paper bags that can be picked up between 1 and 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 25.
Rotary Club members will also be delivering some meals to people who can’t get out to get them or to people who are living rough.
Tickets for the free meals will be available from Thursday, Dec. 10 and will list the pick-up location and time to get the meal. Ticket pick-up points will be: Second Harvest Food Bank, alley, 360 Alexander St. NE; Salvation Army Lighthouse, 441 Third St. SW; First United Church, 450 Okanagan Ave. E; and Broadview Evangelical Free Church, 350 30 St. NE.
Tickets will also be distributed by some non-profits.
While the food will mostly be purchased ready-made, church volunteers will staff the kitchen to cook and package meals as needed. Each meal can be microwaved or reheated in an oven after taking it out of its container.
Rotarians will be on hand to distribute the meals in the church parking lots.
Brown said all pandemic protocols are being followed to ensure everyone’s safety.
Asked what prompted him to begin such a big undertaking, he doesn’t hesitate.
“That’s what Rotarians do.”