Ashley Smethurst and her husband Matthew and children Julia and Kai helped prepare over 230 meals for people in the community for Christmas this year. (Contributed)

Ashley Smethurst and her husband Matthew and children Julia and Kai helped prepare over 230 meals for people in the community for Christmas this year. (Contributed)

Penticton family gives back with hundreds of Christmas meals for the community

The Smethursts cooked and delivered over 230 meals

It took a week of preparation and a week of cooking, for Ashley Smethurst and her family to serve up more than 230 meals to people in the Penticton community this holiday season.

In 2019, the family invited those who didn’t have family of their own to join them for Christmas dinner, but COVID-19 made it impossible to do that again.

READ MORE: Family opens home to strangers for Christmas

Instead, beginning in August, Smethurst started organizing and posting on Facebook to let people know they had an option for Christmas. Then came the planning, the prepping, cooking, and finally delivering the food.

“There are so many grateful people,” said Smethurst. “For some, it might not be much, but for others, it means everything for them.”

Ashley, her husband Matthew, neighbour Nana Dee, and two volunteer delivery drivers dropped off the meals. Most were delivered on Christmas Day, while the Smethursts delivered a few dozen more on Boxing Day to people around Victory Church and the soup kitchen.

“I am also 17 weeks pregnant with our rainbow baby,” said Smethurst. “So it definitely took a lot out of us, but was totally worth it.”

Twelve turkeys went into the dinners, along with many pounds of vegetables, potatoes and cranberries.

The family also took to the streets in November to deliver holiday treat-bags of home-baked cookies, kettle corn and more.

READ MORE: Penticton family hands out 200 treat bags to neighbours

The family is ready to do it again next year, although they aren’t sure if they’ll be making as many meals as they did this time.

“It’s a family tradition now,” said Smethurst. “The need depends on if COVID is still hurting our community. I noticed last year without COVID, there were only 53 [who came to dinner] so there was a much bigger demand this year.

“If people are hungry, we will feed them.”

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Christmas holiday

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Regional Board has approved using the alternative approval process for a proposed exchange of park land for Scenic Canyon Regional Park.
Scenic Canyon Regional Park to expand after RDCO land swap

The Regional District of the Central Okanagan will swap lands with a private individual

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after scratching $3M lottery ticket

This marks the BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize

City of West Kelowna mowing services have been moved in house, saving the city from a potential quarter-million dollar increase in costs. (Pixabay)
West Kelowna cuts mowing contract, saves over $200k

Since forming in 2007, the City of West Kelowna has been contracting out their mowing services

The students were told to think about a problem in their lives and what the solution to that problem could be. (Ashly Griffin)
Kelowna teacher brings creative learning to school during difficult time

Teacher Ashly Griffin wanted to take students’ mind off the pandemic

This historic photo is of Kelowna’s dance band ‘The Pettman Imperials’. 

The photo was shared to the Old Kelowna Facebook page by Ali Richardson whose grandfather Charles Pettman played drums in the band. 

While it’s unclear who is playing the saxophone, from the back the members are; Chas Buckland , Harold Pettman, Tiny Walrod. In the front is Carl Buckland, Charles Pettman and Kay Buckland. 

Harold and his brother Charles started the band in the 1930s, and played weekly at the Aquatic Club in City Park.
A look back at Kelowna’s past

The Pettman Imperials: Kelowna’s dance band circa 1930s

The BC SPCA is adapting its fundraising after cancelling events due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
BC SPCA gets creative with fundraising as pandemic continues

The non-profit’s in-person fundraising events all had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

(File)
Man allegedly bites Vancouver cop during arrest for outstanding warrant

The officer was treated in hospital for the bite wounds

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C., on July 8, 2015. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers when he opted not to shoot the baby bears in July after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding homes near Port Hardy, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Supreme Court quashes review of B.C. conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015

(File Photo)
Interior Health says COVID positivity rates in Fernie area actually 10-12%

IH say the rates are not as high as previously claimed by the region’s top doctor

Francina Mettes and Thomas Schouten with the 200-page document they submitted in December of 2018. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Dutch man, 94, facing unwanted trip home can stay in B.C. with wife of 45 years

Immigration offices cuts red tape so couple of 45 years can stay together in Victoria area

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier, health officials to discuss next steps in COVID immunization plan

Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues

Most Read