Prime rib and Yorkshire pudding were on the menu today as the Ottawa Mission served up its annual Easter Dinner.

More than 25-hundred people left with a full belly and a smile on their face. 

Long before the Ottawa Mission opened its doors for its annual Easter dinner, Stephan Thompson was already in line. He's homeless and looking for work.  But right now, he is looking to celebrate this holiday with some friends and a good meal.

“I had a rough past,” says Thompson, “so Easter and Christmas and all the different holidays haven't been that good for me, but whatever, you know.”

Today was about starting new traditions. Over the next five hours, dozens of volunteers will be plating meals and delivering them to about 25 hundred hungry folks.

“Where there's hope there's life and where there's life there's hope,” says one man, as he sits down to enjoy his meal.

“You know, some of these people have nowhere to go, they have no family, they live in small rooms” says Chef Ric Watson at the Ottawa Mission, “It’s really sad so this is a place they can come and feel like  home and sit with friends and families.  You'll see young kids in here; it's just an amazing day.”

So how do you feed 2500 people?  Well with a lot of help and a whole lot of food:  2200 pounds of prime rib, 2500 bakes potatoes, hundreds of fruit pies topped off with a dollop of whipped cream.

Derrick Shears appreciates the work involved.  Ten years ago, he was on the other side of the kitchen helping prepare meals.

“I was one of the first people who took the cooking course here,” he says, “and now I’m back to just enjoy the meal on this side of the fence.”

“It's been the talk of town when I’m walking around,” says Peter Tilley, the executive director of the Ottawa Mission, “Hey Peter, see you on Monday,” they say, so we're ready to roll.”

And they are rolling it out to an appreciative crowd, including folks like Stephan Thompson.

“If you can't appreciate the small things in life,” he says, “you'll never appreciate anything so I appreciate it.”