Kelowna’s Gospel Mission serves up Thanksgiving dinner

Thanksgiving dinner was served on Monday, Oct. 12, at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)Thanksgiving dinner was served on Monday, Oct. 12, at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Carmen Rempel, executive director for the Gospel Mission, walks through the dining area as residents eat. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)Carmen Rempel, executive director for the Gospel Mission, walks through the dining area as residents eat. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
A resident of Kelowna’s Gospel Mission eats his Thanksgiving meal. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)A resident of Kelowna’s Gospel Mission eats his Thanksgiving meal. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Food prep began weeks ago, as the Gospel Mission looked to ensure enough food for all who needed it. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)Food prep began weeks ago, as the Gospel Mission looked to ensure enough food for all who needed it. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
To-go meals were given to people in need who weren’t residents of the shelter. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)To-go meals were given to people in need who weren’t residents of the shelter. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Tracy Gray, Kelowna-Lake Country MP, serving up turkey dinners to Kelowna’s Gospel Mission residents. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)Tracy Gray, Kelowna-Lake Country MP, serving up turkey dinners to Kelowna’s Gospel Mission residents. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Norm Letnick, BC Liberal Party candidate for Kelowna-Lake Country, helping out in the kitchen. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)Norm Letnick, BC Liberal Party candidate for Kelowna-Lake Country, helping out in the kitchen. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Thanksgiving dinner was served at Kelowna’s Gospel Mission on Monday — albeit with a few twists due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Weeks of prep culminated in a delicious feast served up to both Gospel Mission residents and other community members in need of a hot meal. This year, residents were served inside, while the mission’s outreach team handed out meals to people outside, as well as at the back door of the shelter.

The mission’s executive director, Carmen Rempel, said volunteers have been cooking this meal since late September, making a dozen turkeys, eight hams and “hundreds of pounds” of potatoes.

“It’s been a long effort, but it all comes to a head today,” she said.

And the preparations didn’t stop there. Tables were decorated and adorned with donated placemats with words of support.

Volunteers weren’t as plentiful as in years past, but Rempel said this provided an opportunity for some residents to step up and help out.

“Our community has worked hard to keep people safe by following the advice of Dr. Bonnie Henry,” Rempel said.

“It is scary for our residents not knowing when the crisis is going to end. It would be overwhelming if it weren’t for the incredible acts of generosity and kindness that we are seeing in our community.

“The spirit of charity and caring has given us all strength this year. We believe that love and compassion is the beginning of changing lives.”

With Thanksgiving over, the Gospel Mission is now shifting to focus on its winter stock.

Rempel said they are always in need of toques, gloves, long johns and other winter clothing.

Information on how to donate and what items are most in need is available at kelownagospelmission.ca.

READ MORE: Happy Thanksgiving! How are you celebrating today?

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


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