WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg organization that assists the city’s most vulnerable population is making changes to one of its largest annual events that helps feed the community.
Siloam Mission announced Thursday morning it would be cancelling its annual sit-down Thanksgiving feast due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but the organization said it still plans to serve a special meal for people using their services.
“For those who are not in the bubble, we’re going to try and make sure to do something special, but it will not be the family-style feast that we will normally have, which is sad, and who knows what that will look like come Christmas, but we’re already having to make some tough decisions when it comes to the holidays,” said Luke Thiessen, communications manager with Siloam Mission.
Thanksgiving is typically Siloam Mission’s biggest meal of the year, with Thiessen estimating between 600 and 800 people are served.
Thiessen said Siloam Mission made changes to its kitchen since the pandemic started, noting they had suspended volunteers from coming into the centre. Staff members were used to replace the volunteer’s roles.
“Over time, we’ve been able to safely return some volunteers back there, but the biggest thing is that our kitchen and drop-in are linked, they’re in the same building, and all of our services we’ve limited to create kind of a bubble, because while we can do some level of social distancing, we can’t completely eliminate potential exposure in a group the size of a community that uses our services,” said Thiessen.
The mission is currently looking for donations of takeout containers to allow them to provide a hot meal for people who come through the door that day.
-With files from CTV’s Rachel Lagacè
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