The fifth annual Festive Street Lunch got cooking at the All Saints’ Anglican Church in Vernon on Saturday.
Whether young or old, those in need of a home-cooked meal were invited into the church hall, where they were also handed a gift bag filled with warm socks, mittens, toques and a big helping of sweets.
“I think it’s absolutely fantastic,” said George Harrison while enjoying a meal and some friendly conversation at one of the tables. “The food tastes great, the coffee’s good and everybody’s very friendly.”
The organizers don’t just host guests during the holidays; Saturday Street Lunch runs every week, year-round (except for the two upcoming Saturdays around Christmas Day) and serves an average of 100 free meals each time it opens its doors.
“Putting on a memorable meal for 150 people takes a great deal of community effort and coordination,” said organizer Michael Robinson. “The Saturday Street Lunch is so grateful for this year’s sponsors.”
Those sponsors included Kimberly Fuller and Joshua Lunn of Lake Monster Architects, Bourcet Engineering and the Power Pioneers. There were also a number of anonymous donors from the community.
Robinson extended thanks to Charity Van Gameren of the Centre Stage Performing Arts Academy for sharing the hall space at the church, decorations and all.
“Last, but certainly not least, thank you to all our faithful church and business groups not only for putting on the festive feast with such energy, heart and soul, but for providing street lunches Saturday after Saturday throughout the year,” added Robinson.
Christmas crackers were donated by Loblaw’s, and students from Beairsto Elementary School created festive place mats and colourful centrepieces for the occasion.