Despite the COVID-19 pandemic looming in Toronto for a second Thanksgiving, local shelters and charities across the city are still working to provide vulnerable and homeless people with a special meal to parties.
“There is no way I would want someone to not spend Thanksgiving in a positive way,” said Idil Omar, community program coordinator at Salvation Army New Hope Leslieville on Leslie Street.
Not only will a caterer serve the 32 residents of the shelter a Thanksgiving dinner on Monday, but Omar also ordered additional treats, such as pecan pie and black forest pie, to make the holiday a little extra. sweets for those who live there.
Even though his vacations are free, Omar will celebrate Thanksgiving at the shelter by playing games and serving the special treats to the residents.
“They are very excited. They are going to love it, ”he said, noting that only two people will be able to eat at each table in the common area to ensure social distancing.
The shelter, including residents and staff, is 90% vaccinated. Without the pandemic, walk-ins would also be welcome for a Thanksgiving meal, but the center has had to stop the initiative this fall.
Without a quote from Margaret Dundas Street East will also be serving a turkey dinner with carrots, potatoes, stuffing and more on Monday, said Jeanne Smith, a kitchen assistant.
Ten people are allowed inside to eat, but once the reception capacity reaches capacity, the meals will be distributed outside.
COVID-19 has had a huge impact on Margaret, according to Smith. Many of the regulars she’s used to seeing no longer come, she said.
Sister, an agency for women at risk, socially isolated and trans people who are homeless or live in substandard housing, is another space that will serve a hot Thanksgiving lunch to the twenty residents who live on site, along with the delivery of meals to people from other places. .
On Monday from noon to 1:30 pm, Sistering will serve the “complete shebang” that includes turkey, potatoes and stuffing.
“It’s an important part of people’s diets in this neighborhood because a lot of them have food problems,” said Lesa Thorne, who works in the kitchen.
“I feel good about the fact that I can provide good food for people who are hungry,” he said. “But we do this every day, this time it’s just a different meal.”