Ottawa, ON – During The Ottawa Mission’s special Easter meal service, which was held on April 18 for shelter guests in our dining room and community members through our service entrance, as well as the week prior through our Mobile Mission Meals food truck program, the shelter served 10,084 meals to those in need. Shelter guests and community members enjoyed a full roast beef dinner on April 18, while Mobile Mission Meals clients took home a delicious turkey dinner.
The current pandemic has resulted in shocking increases in hunger in Ottawa. To meet this deepening need, The Mission has added a second truck and an additional 12 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 31 stops serving about 7,000 meals per week to people in need across the city of Ottawa.
“This is a new record for one of our special meals and four times the number of meals we served for Easter 2019, the last Easter before the pandemic. The astounding increase in hunger in our community is one reason why we’ve expanded our food truck program several times across our community,” noted Chef Ric Allen-Watson, Director of Food Services for the Mission. In 2019, the shelter served 2,659 Easter meals.
“Ottawa was already in a homelessness emergency and an opioid-use epidemic when Covid-19 came upon us. And now hunger is at urgent levels across our city because of the pandemic. Given the overwhelming impact 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 after Covid-19 has passed,” noted Ottawa Mission CEO Peter Tilley.
“Our dedicated volunteers and also our exceptional kitchen staff worked very hard to ensure that everyone had a delicious Easter. And special thanks to our donors and supporters who have been profoundly generous in their continuing support of The Mission in these continuing difficult times. 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 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.
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