George Harrison and Diamond Campbell enjoy a Christmas meal at the fifth annual Festive Street Lunch at All Saints' Anglican Church Saturday. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Vernon Festive Street Lunch takes on takeout model amid COVID

Annual holiday church lunch that feeds the needy adapts to pandemic restrictions

The All Saints’ Anglican Church is going ahead with its sixth annual Festive Street Lunch to feed those in need this Saturday.

“Unfortunately, this jolly annual event will be a lot less festive than in past years due to COVID-19,” said co-ordinator Michael Robinson. “Instead of a sit-down meal in the church hall with music and a magic show, there will be a take-out turkey dinner and dessert.”

But, the COVID-19 pandemic won’t stop Santa’s helpers from handing out gift bags complete with warm socks, gloves, food items, chocolates and bonbons. Kids who come by will receive a toy in lieu of socks.

“Santa’s helpers aren’t just smart because they know not to give children socks for Christmas, but because they know the importance of keeping everyone safe and healthy,” Robinson said in a statement. “Reusable face masks will be handed out to anyone who needs one.”

The Festive Street Lunch is slated for Dec. 12 from 11-12:30 p.m. at the All Saints’ Anglican Church on 27th Street.

Saturday Street Lunches take place every Saturday, except for Boxing Day, year-round between 11-12:30 p.m. The lunch is open to anyone who is in need, and for those feeling a bit shy about coming around, Robinson said drop by around noon when the rush is over.

“I think it’s absolutely fantastic,” George Harrison said last year while enjoying the festive meal and some friendly conversation at one of the tables. “The food tastes great, the coffee’s good and everybody’s very friendly.”

READ MORE: Street Lunch gets festive in Vernon

READ MORE: One death confirmed in relation to COVID-19 outbreak at Greater Victoria hospital


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