Summerland NeighbourLink has organized it annual Christmas dinner matchup in past years. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the matchup will not be held. (File photo)

Summerland NeighbourLink has organized it annual Christmas dinner matchup in past years. This year, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the matchup will not be held. (File photo)

Summerland Christmas dinner matchup will not proceed

Event organized by NeighbourLink Summerland cancelled because of pandemic

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Summerland’s annual Christmas dinner matchup will not proceed this year.

The event, which was held for the past six years, matched people alone for Christmas with families interested in hosting guests for their Christmas dinner.

This year, as a result of provincial restrictions to slow the spread of the pandemic, people are not able to host guests in their homes or to meet up with people outside their family.

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But Mirjana Komljenovic of NeighbourLink Summerland said the community has stepped up to show holiday spirit.

“The residents of Summerland have really reached out this year,” she said.

While she was concerned that some would be left behind because of the pandemic, Komljenovic said she has seen examples of generosity in the community.

She added that some families are holding Zoom or FaceTime gatherings on Christmas, to allow family members to connect even though they cannot be in the same home.

However, some of those who are alone in Summerland do not have the computer capabilities or the skills to handle an online video meeting.

There are resources to help those alone during the festive season, she said. For seniors, funding is available through the United Way, through a call 211 and referral to the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre.

In addition, the food bank is distributing is holiday hampers to families within the community once again this year.

Komljenovic hopes to be able to bring back the Christmas dinner matchup for the future.

“We know what we do today means a better world and a better Christmas tomorrow,” she said.

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