100s give thanks for Thanksgiving
Oct 8, 2012 / 2:13 pm
Fruit pickers, children and couch-surfing teens were among those who showed up at Penticton's Soupateria Monday for a Thanksgiving dinner.
Inside they were treated to plates piled high with turkey, mashed potatoes, green vegetables and pumpkin pie served up by smiling volunteers.
"The grape picking is just starting, so I don't have enough money to buy food," said Sebastian Teixeira, a fruit picker from Montreal. "Now I am rolling on the floor in gratitude because it is obvious this food was made with a lot of love."
The Soupateria has provided food to those in need since 1986. In addition to the Thanksgiving feast, it provides holiday meals on Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year's Day and Easter.
It also offers a hot lunch every other day of the year at its location on Orchard Avenue.
Every year the numbers served grow, and this Thanksgiving close to 200 people showed up.
They are from all walks of life, said Kris Rusk, coordinator for the community sit down dinners.
"They are people who need assistance," she said. "Some are just alone and want to be with somebody, so we encourage them to come down."
It would have been a lonely day for Blue Walker, who recently moved to Penticton with her son Mackenzie Walker.
"It is nice to get out of the house and see some friendly faces," she said. "If we were on our own our Thanksgiving would be very scaled down."
Ronald, a student who declined to give his last name, recently moved to Penticton from Edmonton. He rode his bike to the Soupateria because he didn't want to spent the day alone in a hotel room.
"Something like this means a lot to people, because I really don't know anyone here," he said.
Volunteers working on an assembly line in the kitchen were happy to do their part. Not only did they dish out food, they also decorated tables with festive tablecloths and vases of fresh cut flowers.
"It is important to reach out and give back to people," said Rusk. "Because a lot of times they give back to you."
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