Xmas at the Soupateria

Penticton's soup kitchen is once again making life a little brighter for the needy on Christmas Day.

Board member Lauraine Bailie said they are expecting about 150 people to show up at the Soupateria on Dec. 25.

"At this stage in our lives, we are able to give back and that's what we do," she said.

Chris Grauer, the chief purchaser and cook, is organizing the traditional turkey dinner and ham feast.

People will then be invited to participate in the festive sit-down dinner.

The holiday dinner marks the end of another busy year for the soup kitchen.

Bailie hasn't tallied the numbers yet, but said they expect to exceed the 46,000 lunches served in 2015.

She credits the growth on a number of factors.

"The collapse of the oil industry in Alberta has had a ripple effect on service industries, and there's the lack of affordable housing," she said. "The number of homeless people has quadrupled here, to about 160 people, and that's making it pretty grim out there."

Christmas dinner will be served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Soupateria on Orchard Avenue.

There will be a special luncheon, cafeteria style, on Boxing Day and a sit down dinner on New Year's Day, also from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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