Sault Ste. Marie Soup Kitchen Community Center offering a holiday meal



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Thanks to the generosity of people and businesses in the community, the Sault Ste. The Marie Soup Kitchen Community Center will have its Christmas dinner later this week.

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“We’ve had a few different companies showing up to buy turkeys for our Christmas dinner, which we’ll be having this Thursday,” said Ron Sim, general manager of Sault Ste. Marie soup kitchen community center. “This will be a take-out Christmas dinner. We are preparing for 240 people.

For users of the service, Christmas or other, the usual practices will be in effect.

“It will be exactly like the packed lunches we’re giving out now,” Sim said. “They’ll have to come to the front door and go in and we’ll have everything ready.”

The Christmas packed lunch takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the soup kitchen, located at 172 James Street.

The holiday season is full of traditional images of friends and family gatherings for social interaction, with the festivities topping off with a meal. And with the soup kitchen unable to open its doors to sit down, many people miss the interaction needed, and not just during the holiday season, but all seasons of the year.

“In a lot of ways, it’s not fair,” Sim said. “During this pandemic, a lot of older people have felt lonely and they really don’t know what to do or where to go. I guess there isn’t a place to go for them.

But the common feeling that cooking tries to foster means a lot to more than the elderly.

“Since we are almost entering our second year, the loneliness, in many ways our kitchen was not just a place to eat, it was also a place where many people could befriend and help fight. the loneliness when you live alone, ”Sim said. “In many ways, it’s a gathering place for a lot of people. And no one can come from the cold and that’s another terrible one since we live in the north and sometimes our winter days can be quite brisk.

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Luckily the kitchen is in pretty good shape right now with its supplies, Sim has no idea how long they will last.

“Right now we’re not in bad shape with the Christmas gift season, but if we stay as busy as we have been, what we have on hand can run out pretty quickly because, Usually January and February are the busiest months after Christmas, ”Sim said. “Yes, it’s very difficult for everyone. “

Overall, Sim noted that the number of people using the service has increased recently.

“For our lunch schedule it seems to be higher and for our food bank and all the different agencies in town we know it’s probably up 40% from last year and that’s why we think that in January or February, it’s going to be really busy.

The CEO cites inflation as the root cause of the increase.

“These government checks have no purchasing power to begin with and once you pull any kind of inflationary measures into that little bit of spending, what can you buy for food with that kind of income,” Sim said.

Sim looks forward to the day when life can return to a state where relationships and friendships can be rekindled while breaking bread at a soup kitchen table.

“I just want to thank the community for all their generous support over the years and for the continued support this year and I hope that at some point there will be an end to it all and we can go back to some sort of normality and let everyone live, ”Sim said.

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