12-year-old 4-H member donates hundreds of pounds of beef to Lethbridge Soup Kitchen

The Lethbridge Soup Kitchen will be beefed up for months following the generous donation of a 12-year-old 4-H member from Lomond, Alta.

Eva Ketchmark was left with a big decision when her club’s 4-H show and sale was cancelled due to COVID-19. She had to choose what to do with her more than 800-pound steer Nailer.

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“We had a bunch of options of what we could do with our 4-H animals, and I decided that it would be a really good idea to donate it to somewhere where it was needed,” she said.

Ketchmark had previously volunteered at the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen through her school, and says it was such a good experience that she wanted to continue to help the organization.

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“When we came to the soup kitchen, I helped serve and I made soup and tarts,” she said. “I just felt like I really belonged here, and that it was really something that I wanted to carry on doing.”

On Friday, Ketchmark and her mom drove from Lomond to Lethbridge with twelve 40-pound cases of beef in their truck, all for the soup kitchen.

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The 12-year-old says it was tough to say goodbye to Nailer, but she was happy to see him go to a good cause.

“He was really special to me, because he was big and he also loved me,” she laughed.

Ketchmark had raised the steer for about a year, starting from bottle feeding.

The generous donation will provide hundreds of meals at the soup kitchen for months to come.

“Meat is probably the most expensive thing that we serve, and we try to have meat at most meals,” said Bill Ginther, the executive director of the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen. “One of the things that we have to buy is meat, and when we don’t have to buy it, we can use it for other things, so it’s really significant.”

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Ginther estimates that the donation could last the soup kitchen up to six months.

The president of the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen Association says it’s good to see young people getting involved in the community.

“Eva speaks to the fact that, yes, young people are out there that are taking things seriously,” said Barb Phillips, “such as taking care of the vulnerable in our community.”

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