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

This Dec. 2, 2020, file photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)
Interior Health notes 80 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

108 people in the region have died from the virus

The goal of the group is to help women owned businesses recover from the pandemic and to assist women to become angel investors and women owned or co-owned businesses to better access capital.
Okanagan women’s investor fund launched to aid women-owned businesses

Twenty-five women have formed a new Okanagan angel investment fund

It's tick season in South Okanagan.
Tick season has started in South Okanagan

A Penticton adventure company collected 200 ticks last year to be studied for Lyme Disease

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Summerland solar site should be sold and developed

Community has had many proposals for site over past years

Send your letter to the editor via email to news@summerlandreview.com. Please included your first and last name, address, and phone number.
LETTER: Summerland housing development supported

Five-storey building would be great legacy for Summerland

Five Kelowna writers are featured in an anthology that launched in time for International Women's Day. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
International Women’s Day: Book exploring fears features Kelowna writers

The book has launched in time for International Women’s Day

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, an Okanagan based-law practice, and provides Kelowna Capital News with weekly stories from the world of local, national and international law. (Contributed)
Kootnekoff: Royal Dismissal

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

(File photo)
RCMP seek witnesses after 2 different reports of man chasing children in Kelowna

Both incidents occured around Dougall Road in Rutland

Most Read