Written by: Jordan Alfred
Edited by: Emilee Darling & Shannon Murphy
It’s that time of the year again. Students are ditching their textbooks and notes in exchange for turkey and stuffing, quality time with family and friends, and some much needed relaxation away from school. For most, the holidays are a time of giving, whether in the form of gifts, a meal, or simply sharing each others time. Unfortunately, for many people around the world and in Ottawa, the luxury of nightly dinners does not exist, let alone for the festive season. In our last article, we showcased how the NBA has given back to their communities this holiday season, and today we will shed some light on how you can get involved in a meaningful way too.
Organizations such as ‘Food Banks Canada’ and associated Food Banks and Shelters extend their hands out to those less fortunate with one universal goal: that no one goes hungry. ‘The Ottawa Mission,’ familiar to many uOttawa students for its close proximity to campus, is a homeless shelter that provides food, clothing, and skills to individuals who seek it. Through a, ‘desire to help those who do not have the resources to help themselves,’ the mission strives for a goal of building a better life for its occupants.
Last year, the mission served an average of 1295 meals a day, and more than double that during special holidays. Evidently, that’s close to serving 473,000 meals a year, and crazy, yet inspiring enough: roughly half of all funding is generated from only donations, while the other half is government funded.
Keep in mind that this is only one organization within the downtown Ottawa region. Yet, in a developed and democratic country such as Canada, it is too often forgotten that starvation continues to be a concern. It is easy to go along with your day and by-pass the fact that people in our community do not have many basic necessities available to them. Anyone can make a change in abolishing hunger for someone, whether it be by volunteering at a neighbourhood soup kitchen or simply donating non-perishable or fresh items to your local food bank. This Christmas, spread the word and get active in your community! Help relieve hunger today and prevent hunger tomorrow.
For more insight here’s a short video detailing some eye-opening facts about hunger in Canada
For More Information About How You Can Help – check out our sources here.