Not everyone can afford a hot Easter meal this weekend.
The Ottawa Mission says the demand and need for food is greater than ever in the community.
The shelter has added a new mobile food truck just in time to deliver meals to more neighbourhoods this holiday weekend.
“We have been out all week going out into different communities in Ottawa, communities where people would not see an Easter dinner,” said Peter Tilley, CEO of Ottawa Mission.
The truck was added to the Ottawa Mission’s fleet on Thursday. On Monday, people lined up well before 11 a.m. for a special takeout meal. Loaves of bread and bags of groceries were also included with each meal.
“Our chef tells me that as of today we are over 6,500 meals,” said Tilley. “We have managed to reach out to 31 communities in Ottawa in total.”
Tilley says between the truck being on the road three to five hours a day, and with meals being served in the shelter, they’re hoping to hand out nearly 10,000 meals by Monday.
“The demand was so great, the need was so great, incidents of hunger are at greater levels than we have ever seen before in the city of Ottawa,” he said.
That demand is also being felt at the Ottawa Food Bank, where carts usually filled with donated food are sitting empty.
“We know there are many families who are going to be turning to a food bank this weekend,” said Rachel Wilson, Ottawa Food Bank CEO.
Wilson says people from all backgrounds are accessing the food bank’s services.
“Anything can cause someone to use a food bank,” she said. “Whether it’s the loss of a job or a medical emergency, there really is no typical person.”
Wilson says right now 44,000 people on average access the Ottawa Food Bank per month and 36 per cent are children.
A food drive is continuing at local grocery stores until next week.
The Ottawa Mission a special take-out meal for the community at the Mission on Monday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.