/ #news #community 

Main kitchen at Fairmont Château Laurier re-opens its doors to feed Ottawa's vulnerable households

Sylvain de Margerie, Chef Kent Van Dyk and Chef Joe Thottungal on the packaging line for Food for Thought Ottawa. (Photo via FFTO)

(Via Food For Thought Ottawa)

After being closed for months, the main kitchen at the Fairmont Château Laurier (FCL) will soon be alive again with the aromas and sounds of thousands of meals prepared in partnership with Food for Thought Ottawa (FFT). On the occasion, the Honourable Mona Fortier, M.P. for Ottawa-Vanier, will be lighting the stove that will be filling the bellies and warming the hearts of thousands of vulnerable Ottawans for whom the Pandemic will make the winter particularly cold.

Led by Coconut Lagoon’s award-winning chef, Joe Thottungal, a brigade of volunteer chefs will cook tasty and wholesome meals to be distributed to low income households for whom preparing a meal is a challenge. This includes up to 2,000 people sheltered without kitchen facilities.

“Food for Thought has served over 90,000 meals since the beginning of COVID-19. Our partnership with the Fairmont Château Laurier and the support of others will allow us to continue our mission into the second wave of the pandemic,” says Thottungal. Sylvain de Margerie, President of FFT, is elated with this new partnership. “The large space and extensive equipment in the Fairmont Château Laurier kitchen allow chefs to prepare more meals, while maintaining greater distancing,” he notes. “This will prevent COVID-19 from spreading in our team and help provide a robust supply of food in the uncertain future we face.” FFT distributes meals by working directly with many local community organizations. Hundreds of meal packages are dropped off at various locations for distribution by local volunteers in their immediate neighbourhood. This approach has proven to be highly efficient, compared to individual meal delivery. The Honourable Mona Fortier adds. “ I am very pleased with the outcome of this project. When I learned of this initiative, I felt proud to be part of such a generous community. Thank you to all the organizers of Food for Thought Ottawa and Fairmont Château Laurier for this great initiative. You are making such a positive difference in our city and I am sure many families will enjoy these meals.”

FFT has received close to 50% of its funding from Federal Government’s Emergency Community Support Fund, accessed in collaboration with the Red Cross and the Ottawa Community Foundation. FFT also relies heavily on individual donations and encourages everyone to open their hearts and give at www.FoodforThought.cafe/give.