Roberta Touchie was surprised to find a Thanksgiving lunch waiting for her at Our Place on Wednesday afternoon. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Our Place in Victoria serves Thanksgiving lunch to those in need

Community members volunteer to serve up 1,000 plates of a traditional turkey dinner

Police officers, community officials and over 200 volunteers helped serve 1,000 plates of turkey and stuffing at the annual Our Place Society Thanksgiving lunch on Wednesday.

“The need is great, and we try to meet that need,” said Le-Ann Dolan, director of operations at the downtown community centre serving the city’s most vulnerable.

“One of the biggest pieces we do around here is belonging, and serving a meal like this today not only fills peoples’ bellies, but provides the opportunity for people to have a piece of belonging, love and care,” Dolan said.

For Roberta Touchie, the meal came as a surprise.

READ MORE: Victoria, Our Place push for storage space to serve homeless population

“I usually come here and just sit and do my beading downstairs so it’s nice to come up and have a good meal,” Touchie said, adding it was great to see so many volunteers.

“It shows that you guys care and that we’re not just nobodies, we’re somebodies,” she said. “It makes us feel good, especially when you see an officer serving at the window, you never see that.”

For John Daescu, originally from Romania, the service at Our Place is about more than just a meal.

“I come here every day to eat, not because I have nothing to eat but because the community here is [made of] very good people,” he said.

“They are very helpful and I want to come here until the last day I’m going back to my country,” he added. “The food is very good, and I appreciate the chef in the kitchen, who is cooking very good.”

READ MORE: Point in Time count finds homelessness growing in Victoria

Having spent many years homeless, Terry Colbern said while the food was great, the most important thing was to be thankful.

“This is my homeless family,” he said. “We’re here being thankful for what we have, that’s the most important thing. I got my life back… and now I have the ability to be with my family.”

Community leaders from across the region were just some of the helping hands involved in dishing out the turkey, mashed potatoes and fixings, including Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.

“Our job as elected officials is to serve everyone in our community,” Helps said, “and that includes the fine folks that are eating here at Our Place, where we’re literally serving in this case.”

Helps pointed out it was a busy event, given that the weather is getting colder. “There’s a warm lunch inside so a lot of people are coming in for lunch, it’s a real pleasure to have a conversation with them.”

The meal was made possible by donations, both of food and funding. To donate at any time you can head to ourplacesociety.com/donate

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Our PlaceThanksgiving

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore Rotary Club raises $20,000 with Golf Ball Drop fundraiser

Nearly 4,000 golf balls poured onto Olympic View golf course Saturday

Construction slows weekend traffic at Millstream overpass

West Shore RCMP recommend Leigh Road exit instead

TRAFFIC: Saanich emergency crews responding to Pat Bay Highway collision

Incident took place at Haliburton Road intersection

Saanich race car driver shifts gears as pandemic cuts U.S. season short

Bill Okell, 65, sets sights on Canadian racing circuit for 2020

Work on Sidney’s Reay Creek Dam won’t wrap until 2021

Municipality expects the pond to be ‘partially drained’ again in 2021

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read