Ottawa, ON – During The Ottawa Mission’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner, which was held on October 14th, the shelter served 2,948 meals. On any given day, the Ottawa Mission serves over 1450 meals to shelter residents and those in need in the community. During special meals such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter, The Mission provides 2,500 – 3,000 meals for those who would otherwise go hungry. In addition to warm and nutritious food, the Thanksgiving dinner provides a sense of shared community and fellowship to those in Ottawa who may not only go hungry, but also find themselves alone.
On the menu was: roasted turkey (2500 pounds); turkey savory stuffing (30 pans); baked ham (300lbs); mashed potato (450lbs); corn niblets and roasted red peppers (350lbs); green beans almandine (350lbs); assorted pies (2500 units); fresh baked rolls (250 dozen); and giblet gravy (50 gallons).
According to Ottawa Public Health, one in 15 households in Ottawa is food insecure. Food insecurity contributes to poor mental health, diabetes and heart disease. On a yearly basis, The Mission serves almost 479,000 meals to shelter residents and members of the community at large.
“Poverty, homelessness and food insecurity are serious public health issues. We at the Ottawa Mission are doing our part to address food insecurity and keep people healthy through our meal program,” said Ottawa Mission Executive Director Peter Tilley.
Since the 2008 recession, the numbers of food banks and their clients have increased by almost 30%. The City of Ottawa has some of the highest concentrations of hidden hunger in the province. The riding of Rideau-Vanier in which The Mission is located has the highest use of food banks in the entire province: 15% of residents visited a food bank in 2018 — more than 16,500 people. As well, Ottawa South and Ottawa West-Nepean are among the 10 ridings across the province with the most food bank users per capita.
“Our kitchen volunteers and staff worked very hard to ensure that to ensure everyone had a delicious turkey dinner. Our frontline staff went the extra mile to ensure that all who entered our Mission could be accommodated. And our donors and supporter 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 2017, The Ottawa Mission sheltered an average of 236 men every night and served an average of 1,458 meals every day. The Ottawa Mission also provides health services, mental health supports programs, addiction treatment programs, hospice care, dental services, educational support, job training, spiritual care, and men’s clothing to thousands in need in our community.
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