April 01, 2024

Ottawa Mission Serves 17,405 Meals to Meet Continuing Extreme Hunger in Ottawa

Ottawa, ON – During the Ottawa Mission’s special Easter meal service, which was held on April 1 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 17,405 meals to those in need. Several elected officials participated in serving this special meal today to shelter guests and community members.

Continuing food inflation, sky-rocketing rents and other factors has meant shocking increases in food insecurity in Ottawa. To meet this deepening need, the Mission has expanded its food truck program to two trucks, 35 stops across Ottawa where 7,000 meals a week are served. In 2022 – 2023, the shelter served over one million meals to vulnerable community members across Ottawa through its community and food truck meals programs.

“This is a new record for our Easter meal and more than five times the number of meals we served for Easter 2019 before the pandemic. 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 food inflation and the lack of affordable housing. Given the collective and 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 for several years. While we’re glad to be able to support so many people, in addition to providing hunger relief, we also need to address the roots causes of hunger, including housing and continuing poverty,” noted Ottawa Mission CEO Peter Tilley.

“Our dedicated volunteers and exceptional kitchen staff worked hard to ensure that everyone had a delicious Easter meal. 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 2022-2023, The Ottawa Mission provided emergency shelter to an average of 177 men every night and served an average of 2,898 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 a new housing department.

Aileen Leo
Director of Communications
T 613.234.1144 x 305
C: 613.712.3092