Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Our Place to feed Victoria’s struggling population a proper Christmas dinner


Everyone deserves to have a bite of turkey and stuffing smothered in gravy near Christmas. 

Our Place Society feeds some of Victoria’s most vulnerable residents every day but they are stepping it up this week to bring their clients and anyone in need of a hot meal a proper Christmas dinner.

For more than 15 years, Our Place Society has been doing a Christmas dinner in some form or another. This season, they expect to feed between 600 and 800 mouths on Wednesday, December 21st, for the annual home-cooked Christmas meal.

Local politicians, radio hosts and TV anchors will be on hand to help serve up a warm meal to Victoria’s struggling population. 

“Everybody loves a good holiday meal,” says Julian Daly, Chief Executive Officer of Our Place. 

“Our chefs never disappoint. It’s also exciting to have local dignitaries return to meet and serve our vulnerable population.”

Grant McKenzie, Director of Communications at Our Place Society says all the food comes into Our Place’s kitchen via Greater Victorian good samaritans.

“Most of the money for food is from money that’s donated,” McKenzie told Victoria Buzz.

“We can really stretch a dollar even though the prices have gotten kind of crazy the last few years.”

Their donations from generous Victorians allows them to get enough funds for one of the biggest collective community dinners in the city.

“I think we usually cook up about 400 pounds of turkey, probably about 500 pounds of potatoes and I don’t even know how many litres of gravy,” chuckled McKenzie.

In addition to the turkey dinner with all the fixings, those who will be receiving this Christmas meal will also have a dessert, courtesy of Rogers Chocolates who are donating festive chocolates.

Our Place still has some COVID restrictions in effect for the safety of the community they serve, so the meal will be served up cafeteria style instead of the meal being table service as it has been in some years past.

The meal will be served at Our Place Society (919 Pandora Avenue) from noon until 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 21st.

“We always look forward to it,” McKenzie told Victoria Buzz. “It’s a real way to connect with people because a lot of times people don’t have a family of their own and so we become their de facto family.”

People of all walks of life who are struggling financially with putting a meal on their table are welcome. 

“Our Place has always been there for people going through difficult times–regardless of the reason,” says Daly. 

“This year, perhaps more than ever, people who thought they would never need our services are finding their way to our doors.”

Local philanthropist and businessman, Gordie Dodd has also committed to providing an additional Christmas dinner for Victoria’s vulnerable population via Our Place Society on Tuesday, December 20th from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Curtis Blandy

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