Ottawa Mission serves annual Christmas meal
Published Sunday, December 16, 2012 4:30PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, December 16, 2012 7:16PM EST
The Ottawa Mission served 1,784 meals on Sunday for people in need in Ottawa at its annual Christmas dinner.
“It’s a special meal and it's special to share with people who are alone like me," said Annick Sigan.
The meal is open to the community and not just those who don’t have a place to live.
“A lot of people are alone and a lot of people don't have the money to buy a turkey and all the trimmings so we open this to the community and people can come in and have a dinner and sit with some friends and not be alone and that's a good thing to happen," said Diane Morrison, the Ottawa Mission’s executive director.
“We have to pay our rent, the bills, everything. By the time we pay that, no more money left,” said Lise Langevin.
“Everybody gets together, everybody belongs, everybody's loved, you show a lot of appreciation, we give thanks for it, it's a good dinner," said Joseph Chahine.
More than 120 volunteers, including Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau, helped out.
“We're always out here and connecting with the most vulnerable in our community and I think it's important to give back to the community in many different ways and this is just one of the ways we do this," Bordeleau said.
Preparing a meal for so many involved a lot of food, including 300 tortierres, 450 lbs. of mashed potatoes, 210 dozen dinner rolls and 2,300 lbs. of turkey.
For the third year, more than 3,000 cupcakes were donated.
Despite providing for so many, the Mission's executive director says donations are down.
"We're down about five per cent from last year," said Morrison. "It's a tough time with the civil servants not knowing whether they have jobs but we're still able to manage and we are not cutting programs at this time."
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Katie Griffin