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Warm meals feed Vernon’s homeless over holidays

Special Christmas feasts continue amid freezing temperatures
Santa and the Grinch helped make the Packman Opens Hearts Christmas dinner extra special Dec. 19. (Contributed)

Some more special meals are on the menu for the community’s less fortunate over the holidays.

A Christmas feast is served at the Upper Room Mission Friday, Dec. 23 at 2:30 p.m.

Christmas Eve will see lunch served at the Anglican Church at 11 a.m. and dinner at the Mission at 3:30 p.m.

The Mission is closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day, but lunch is on at the Salvation Army both days at 1 p.m.

There will be mobile evening snacks from Feed the Streets at the north end of town by Tim Hortons at 7:30 p.m., then by the Tiger Esso at 8:30 p.m., and ends at Polson Park around 9:30 p.m.

Packman Opens Hearts will have its Monday dinner Dec. 26 at 6 p.m. at the Wholesale Club parking lot.

Regular Mission hours return Dec. 27-30 with breakfast at 9:30 a.m. and early supper at 2:30 p.m.

Saturday street lunches continue at the Anglican Church, along with dinners at the Mission.

The Mission will be closed Jan. 1 and 2, but lunch continues at the Salvation Army, along with the mobile evening snacks and Monday dinner.

Schedules resume Jan. 3.

Several other special Christmas meals were served last weekend, including the Packman’s fourth annual dinner, complete with a visit from Santa and the Grinch.

Tracey Miller and her husband organize the Monday dinners, along with the annual Christmas feast.

Although grateful that things fell into place for a perfect dinner, albeit last minute, Miller feels broken.

“We were out there for an hour and we served 50 people. It was -20 Celsius and I have never ever been this cold in my life. My body hurts from being so cold. I could barely stand when we left. I could not feel my feet or my fingers. One hour people, that’s all it was.

“There are people in this weather 24-7, they sleep in it. How do they do it? My heart breaks for them.”

With temperatures dropping to -34 C overnight with the wind chill, warming centres have been set up for those living on the street.

READ MORE: Warming options heat up for Vernon’s homeless amid cold snap

Environment Canada says there is a risk of frostbite tonight and Wednesday. A high of -20 and low of -34 with the wind chill continues Dec. 21.

Temperatures are forecast to slowly warm up reaching -19 Thursday, -13 on Friday with more snow, -8 Christmas Eve, -4 Christmas day and -2 Boxing Day.

READ MORE: Christmas street lunch serves up hot meals at Vernon church


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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