More than 600 meals made their COVID-safe way to Salmon Arm residents in need on Christmas Day, thanks to an abundance of caring volunteers.
Salmon Arm’s three Rotary Clubs, as well as Second Harvest, the First United Church and Broadview Evangelical Free Church, donated funds to pay for the food, the meals were cooked and put together by the churches, and volunteers from all the groups pitched in to distribute the packages.
Norm Brown, president of the Rotary Club of Salmon Arm, said the idea was born when a Penticton Rotary Club used a similar system for a lobster dinner.
The work in the Shuswap, following pandemic protocols, started about a month and a half before Christmas, with everything coming together in just five weeks.
“All three clubs jumped on it. We had volunteers – we had to turn them away, we had more than enough,” said Brown.
A total of 620 Christmas dinners-to-go were produced.
Free tickets were available from Dec. 10, and some non-profit organizations were provided tickets to give to those who use their services.
Brown said along with the tickets distributed beforehand, meals were taken to the RCMP officers who were working on Christmas Day.
Patrick Webb, president elect, said the satisfaction the volunteers experienced from working together to make the Christmas meals happen was a highlight.
And the people receiving the food were also most appreciative, Brown remarked.
“Some wanted to give us a donation; we said no, this is for Christmas.”
Concluded Webb: “The bottom line is, this was a great success at putting meals into the hands of people that needed it.”