PEI

Because 'winter is a tough time,' Superstore offers a free lunch

If you’re struggling to feed yourself this winter, or even if you’re just lonely, the Superstore in Summerside, P.E.I., wants to help.

Hungry? Lonely? Stop in for lunch

The lunches will be simple, says Pam Smallman: soup and sandwich, or maybe chili and rolls. (Julie Van Rosendaal/CBC)

If you're struggling to feed yourself this winter, or even if you're just lonely, the Superstore in Summerside, P.E.I., wants to help.

The store will be offering a free lunch every Saturday from noon to 1 p.m.

"Whether it be that they're hungry or whether it be that they're lonely, and they just want to come in and have a bite to eat, then we want to do that," said store manager Pam Smallman.

Smallman said the initiative was prompted by a phone call she received on a Sunday a few weeks ago.

"He and his wife both work locally. They weren't going to be paid until Thursday and they had no food," said Smallman.

"He reached out to me for some help and it really stopped me dead in my tracks. And it's been on my mind ever since because I just thought 'my God, this man had to call and ask me to help him because he couldn't feed his family' and it was just a heart-stopping moment."

'I know from growing up here'

The lunches will be in the store's community room, prepared by staff with food donated by the Superstore. Smallman said she wants to create a warm and welcoming space.

This can be a difficult time of year, she said. There is the expense of heating your home, missed work because of storms, less seasonal work.

"Winter is a tough time for a lot of people for a lot of different reasons," said Smallman

"I live here. These are my family, these are my friends, these are my neighbours, and I know from growing up here and I know from being here that there's a lot of people that struggle."

Smallman doesn't have any idea how many people to expect. She intends to overprepare, and staff can take home any leftovers.

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With files from Island Morning

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