Fall suppers at risk of being cancelled amid rising COVID-19 case numbers
WINNIPEG -- Fall suppers are a tradition in many communities in Manitoba.
It's a chance for residents to meet their neighbours and enjoy a meal together.
But with COVID-19 cases on the rise, dining out in large numbers is out of the question, and some communities have had to cancel their dinner plans.
The Town of Vita Manitoba was scheduled to host a drive-thru supper, but as planning moved along, organizers started to question if having any kind of dinner was the right choice for Vita.
"(We serve) 300 to 400 plus plates," said Lucie Maynard, chairperson of the Vita and Area Winter Festival and organizer for the fall supper.
"That's putting the volunteers as well as the public at risk by still running out to them to give them their meals."
Vita decided to cancel their supper.
Currently, the province of Manitoba's health guidelines limit indoor group sizes outside of Winnipeg to 50 people.
The supper has traditionally raised money for events in the community like the Vita and Area Winter Festival.
"We're looking at a couple thousand dollars in fundraising and it does bring the community together."
In Minto, Manitoba, The Minto Recreation Board said the fall supper is one of their biggest fundraisers.
But with the pandemic in full swing, the board decided to do things a little different while still providing food and raising money.
"We decided to do just like a pick-up fall supper," said Jenna Murray, president of the Minto Recreation Board.
"Basically, people are just going to come to town and it's all going to be ready to go, and they're just going to take it home."
She said normally people made food at home and brought it to the hall, but this year residents were asked to donate uncooked food items.
"Then we'll spend the day of the fall supper and probably a day or two before getting all of that food ready."
Murray said funds raised will go towards running the ice rink in town and the rec centre.
Maynard is reminding communities that are going ahead with a fall supper to follow physical distancing guidelines and said people experiencing symptoms need to sit this dinner out.
"It could still carry on, but in our case we just didn't feel it was safe enough."