Ottawa, ON – During The Ottawa Mission’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner, which was held on October 12th, the shelter served 2946 meals. On any given day, the Ottawa Mission serves over 1420 meals to shelter residents and those in need in the community. During special meals such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, The Mission provides many more meals for those who would otherwise go hungry.
“It takes 2500 pounds of turkey to feed everyone during our special Thanksgiving dinner,” noted Chef Ric Watson, Director of Food Services at The Mission. Also on the menu was: savory stuffing (30 pans); mashed potato (450lbs); roasted vegetables (350lbs); vegetarian quiche (150 portions); fresh baked rolls (250 dozen); giblet gravy (50 gallons); pumpkin tarts with whipped cream (2500 portions); and bottled water and juice (2500 units).
Despite being a wealthy city, Ottawa has some of the highest rates of hidden hunger in the province. The riding of Rideau-Vanier where The Mission is located has the highest use of food banks in Ontario. As well, Ottawa South and Ottawa West-Nepean are among the 10 ridings with the most food bank users per capita.
Food insecurity contributes to poor mental health, diabetes and heart disease. Last year, The Mission served 520,373 meals to those who would otherwise go hungry, the highest number in the shelter’s history. Now, Covid19 has made hunger in our community much worse. This is one reason why The Mission recently launched its new and phenomenally successful food truck program, which delivers 1,200 meals per week at seven community partner locations across the city to ensure that those who cannot travel to the shelter due to disability, lack of funds for transportation, or other reasons do not go hungry.
“Poverty, homelessness and food insecurity are serious public health issues. We at the Ottawa Mission are doing our part to address hunger and keep people healthy through our meal program,” said Ottawa Mission Executive Director Peter Tilley. “Our kitchen volunteers and staff worked very hard to ensure that everyone had a delicious turkey dinner. And our donors and supporters have been profoundly generous in their support. A huge thank you to all,” Tilley 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 2019-2020, The Ottawa Mission provided emergency shelter to an average of 197 men every night and served an average of 1,422 meals every day. The Ottawa Mission also provides health services, mental health and addiction treatment programs, hospice care, dental services, housing services, educational support, job training, spiritual care, and men’s 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 a new housing department.
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