Ottawa, ON – The Ottawa Mission is partnering with the Pelican Seafood Market and Grill, Urbandale Corporation, Orleans Fresh Fruit, Capital Meat, and local food service agencies such as the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard to address food insecurity in Ottawa through a Food Truck to go out into the community to provide warm and nutritious meals to those in need in Ottawa.
“The Ottawa Mission serves over 1400 warm and nutritious meals a day. Last year, we served almost half a million meals to shelter guests and members of the community who are hungry and can’t afford nutritious food. Our new Food Truck meal program will enhance our community meal program through bringing food to people in their own communities who may otherwise not be able to travel to our shelter because of disability, lack of funds for bus fare, or other issues,” stated Chef Ric Allen-Watson, Director of Food Services.
“We’re very grateful to our partners the Pelican Seafood Market and Grill, Urbandale Corporation, Capital Meat and Orleans Fresh Fruit for supporting this project. We’re also very pleased to be partnering with food service providers such as our friends here at the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard to ensure that everyone in our community who needs healthy food receives it,” Allen-Watson added.
The meals that will be served from this truck will be similar to the kind that The Ottawa Mission offers to shelter guests and community members. As with shelter guests and those who access its community meal program, those who access the food truck program will not have to pay for their food. Accessing food support can be stigmatizing and The Mission wants to make this program as accessible as possible.
“There’s a lot of hidden hunger in Ottawa, and huge income disparities in our community. People come to food banks such as ours because of inadequate income support, low wages, part-time work, and lack of affordable housing. This situation has been made worse by the current pandemic. We’re very pleased to partnering with The Ottawa Mission and its private sector partners to reach even more people in need,” noted Erin O’Manique, Executive Director of the Gloucester Emergency Food Cupboard.
Larry O’Hara, Vice-President of Commercial Real estate for Urbandale Corporation, noted the importance of the private sector in addressing food insecurity in Ottawa. “At Urbandale Corporation, we believe in building strong communities and value our partnerships. This important new initiative will go a long way go a long way to addressing food insecurity in our community and ensuring that people who need healthy meals will get them. We’re very pleased to support The Ottawa Mission toward this end.”
Jim Foster, owner of the Pelican Seafood Market and Grill, spoke of his decision to donate Pelican’s food truck to the shelter to address food insecurity in Ottawa. “We believe in giving back to the community where we live and work. That’s why we’re thrilled to be partnering with The Ottawa Mission to launch this critically needed new service by donating our food truck. We know through our own experience how important it is to provide healthy meals to people in their own communities.”
Adam Tomaszewski, Vice-president of Sale for Capital Meat and long-time partner of The Mission, noted the importance of public-private partnerships to meet the needs of our community’s most vulnerable. “Through our business, we understand the importance of providing quality healthy food to our community. That’s why we’ve partnered with The Ottawa Mission since 2015 to provide healthy food options for the most vulnerable members of our community. We’re delighted to support this new food program by The Mission to meet people where they’re at and ensure that no one in our community goes hungry.”
The Food Truck will also make people aware of our Food Services Training Program, which is a job training program The Ottawa Mission has run for the past 15 years that provides graduates the skills, confidence and professional certification to work in the food services industry. Since its inception in 2004, over 90% of FSTP graduates have secured positions in this industry.
“FSTP applicants must demonstrate only one qualification to be accepted into the program — a strong desire to change their lives for the better. Students pay no costs and we make sure they have all the tools they need to succeed. Students graduate with not only a credential that allows them to be self-supporting, but also newfound confidence, pride and dignity,” Allen-Watson concluded.
About The Ottawa Mission
Since 1906, The Ottawa Mission has been serving the homeless, the hungry and the lost by providing food, clothing, shelter and hope. In 2018- 2019, The Ottawa Mission provided emergency shelter to an average of 195 men every night and served an average of 1,358 meals every day. The Ottawa Mission also provides health services, mental health and addiction treatment programs, hospice care, dental services, educational support, job training, spiritual care, and men’s clothing to thousands in need in our community.
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