Ottawa, ON – During the Ottawa Mission’s special Easter meal service, which was held on April 10 for shelter and community members in our dining room, as well as the week prior through our Mobile Mission Meals food truck program, the shelter served 14,454 meals to those in need. Shelter guests and community members enjoyed a full roast beef dinner, while food truck program clients took home a delicious turkey supper. Several elected officials participated in serving this special meal to shelter guests and community members, including the Hon. Mona Fortier, PC, MP, and several city Councilors.
The recent pandemic as well as rampant food inflation has resulted in shocking increases in hunger in Ottawa. To meet this deepening need, the Mission added a second truck and additional stops to its food truck program. The program began in September 2020 with 5 stops serving 100 meals at each stop and has grown over the course of the pandemic to now 34 stops serving over 7,000 meals per week to people in need across the city of Ottawa. In 2019, the last Easter before the pandemic, the shelter served 2,659 meals.
“This is a new record for one of our special meals and more than five times the number of meals we served for Easter 2019. The astounding increase in hunger in our community is why we’ve expanded our food truck program so many times across our community,” noted Chef Ric Allen-Watson, Director of Food Services for the Mission.
“Ottawa was already in the grip of a continuing homelessness emergency, an opioid-use epidemic and then the pandemic. And now hunger is at urgent levels across our community because of continuing double-digit food inflation. Given the overwhelming impact of these successive crises on our collective mental health, finances, food insecurity, and risk of homelessness, we anticipate remaining the first place of refuge for even more vulnerable people. We’re happy to help, we can’t continue to do it alone. We need help to ensure that those who rely upon this program don’t go hungry,” noted Ottawa Mission CEO Peter Tilley.
“Our dedicated volunteers and exceptional kitchen staff worked hard to ensure that everyone had a delicious Easter. And a special thanks to our donors and supporters who have been profoundly generous in their continuing support of the Mission. A huge thank you to all,” Tilley concluded.
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 2021-2022, The Ottawa Mission provided emergency shelter to an average of 118 men every night and served an average of 2,570 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.
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