May 01, 2014

Without Hunger, There’s Hope

In Ottawa, hunger has many faces. At The Ottawa Mission we serve more than 1295 meals every day. The faces of hunger we see include individuals and families who cannot afford to pay the bills and feed themselves, shelter residents who are out of work and whose only other home is on the streets, people who are undergoing addiction treatment with us, and those participating in our job training or education programs in the hopes of a better life.

On the wall in our dining room is a quote from Chef Ric Allen-Watson who, for the past 12 years has managed our kitchen and who, with the help of generous donors, volunteers and community partners, has put millions of meals on the table for those in need. His quote says: “People have to eat well to be well.”

Chef Ric feels passionately about the difference good, nutritious meals can make. He believes in the power of food to bring hope to those who would otherwise feel forgotten. He sees the gratitude in the faces of those that he encounters every day. He also realizes that what begins as a simple meal often becomes a life changing experience – because so many who come to us hungry end up seeking our help in turning their lives around.

May 5-9 is National Hunger Awareness Week in Canada. If you have not already done so, please consider how you might make a positive impact in the battle against hunger in our community.