Volunteer Jon Teschner serves Christmas meals at the Kelowna Gospel Mission Saturday. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Volunteer Jon Teschner serves Christmas meals at the Kelowna Gospel Mission Saturday. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission serves annual Christmas dinner

Between 700 to 800 meals were served Saturday to the community

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission volunteers were well-prepared for one of their biggest meals.

Sixteen hams, 45 turkeys, 50 litres of gravy, 500 pounds of potatoes and 700 slices of pie were served during the annual Christmas dinner, Saturday, Dec. 16.

The food was able to create 700 to 800 meals for the community.

Visitor Jason Abetkoff said he likes attending the meal each year because “I like the fellowship and I like the people that work here.”

“These people are spending their time here, servicing people who are down and out.”

Randy Benson, executive director at the Gospel Mission, said the annual meal has been held for more than 30 years and it’s been expanding.

Benson said over the years the need has grown, and the mission expanded to not only include people that were staying in the shelter but also for the community.

It seems the number of people in need of shelter is growing possibly because of lack of affordable housing, said Benson.

“I think for a lot of people in the community it’s become a tradition,” he said.

Around 50 volunteers served the meals from 12 to 6 p.m. with even more volunteers prepping the meal for weeks beforehand.

“We want to ensure that the people that we serve know that they have worth and give them dignity, and we try to give what society expects this time of year,” said Benson. It also allows for the community and volunteers to give back, he said.

On each table, placemats are signed by each donor.

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