Ottawa, ON – As we head into the holiday session, planning is well underway for The Ottawa Mission’s annual Christmas Dinner, which will take place on Sunday, December 19th.
Covid19 protocols to keep shelter guests, community members,
employees and volunteers safe while continuing to deliver essential support remain in place at the shelter. Accordingly, the Christmas meal for shelter guests will begin at 11:00 am in the Mission dining room. The Christmas meal for community members who would otherwise go hungry will be available at the garage entrance beginning at 11:00 am – 3 pm. To continue to support vulnerable community members as much as possible, The Mission will also continue to provide two additional meals for community members to take with them.
The impact of the continuing pandemic on hunger in Ottawa has been profound. In 2020 – 2021, the number of meals served by The Ottawa Mission grew by 40% from the previous year to 727,903 meals to shelter residents and those in need in the community. Because of worsening hunger, the shelter introduced its food truck program in September 2020, which has grown to providing over 3,000 meals each week in 19 locations throughout the city. The week before December 19th, at all food truck stops, The Mission will serve a full Christmas dinner to anyone who requests one. Since September 2020, the food truck has served over 170,000 meals. Because of the addition of the food truck meals, The Mission estimates that it will serve 5,500 – 6,000 holiday meals this year, up from the 2,500 – 3,000 meal totals in previous years before the pandemic.
“It will take 4,500 pounds of turkey, or 250 large turkeys to feed everyone who comes to our special Christmas dinner,” says Chef Ric Watson, Director of Food Services at The Mission. “Our kitchen volunteers and staff are working very hard to ensure that ensure everyone will have a delicious turkey dinner by preparing for this very special event in advance.”
Also on the menu will be: 100 pans of stuffing; 6,000 dinner rolls; 3,000 lbs. peeled potatoes 1,000 lbs. glazed fresh carrots; 150 gallons of gravy; 900 vegetarian quiches; and 6,000 desserts. Frozen turkey donations can be dropped off between 7 am – 5 pm at the garage entrance to The Ottawa Mission at the corner of Waller and Besserer. Please ring the bell and a staffperson will arrive to receive your donation.
About The Ottawa Mission
Since 1906, The Ottawa Mission has been serving those who are homeless, hungry and lost by providing food, clothing, shelter and skills. In 2020-2021, The Ottawa Mission provided emergency shelter to an average of 185 men every night and served an average of 1,994 meals every day. The Ottawa Mission also provides to men and women health services, mental health and addiction treatment programs, hospice care, dental services, housing services, educational support, job training, spiritual care, and clothing to thousands in need in our community. In September 2020, The Ottawa Mission marked the one millionth hour that the shelter has been in existence since its founding in 1906. In 2019, the Mission became a housing-focused shelter reflective of its commitment to a home for everyone as a human right with the launch of its housing department. Visit ottawamission.com to learn more.
FOR INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Director of Communications
T 613.234.1144 x 305