Feed a Friend / Feed a Family

Youth Haven is grateful to the owners of R Cottage restaurant in Washago for launching the Feed A Friend/Feed A Family program which provides meals to vulnerable persons in the Orillia-area during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program found roots after a woman canceled a trip and dropped into R Cottage and told staff she wanted to spend some of the cash to buy a meal for someone who needed it.

The r cottage family – May 6, 2020

Owners Ian Thompson and Sarah Valiquette-Thompson posted about the act of kindness on the R Cottage Facebook page and it snowballed from there. An Orillia business (Osteoworks) contacted R Cottage about sponsoring a meal, other individuals did the same, then Sarah reached out Chris Peacock at The Sharing Place Food Bank to see if there was a way to get meals delivered to families and individuals. And as they say, the rest is history.

Jennifer Morrison of Youth Haven’s outreach team in Orillia is a critical component of this program, dropping off meals to The Sharing Place and ensuring her clients, both families and youth at risk of homelessness, also receive meals.

“All the meals come in individual containers and can go directly into the oven,” said Morrison. “The containers come with labels and directions that I deliver to clients.”

Along with the meals, Morrison also leaves care packages from Youth Haven.

To respect physical distancing, Morrison puts the meals for families at the front door of their homes, and for youth clients, she leaves the meals in the backseat of her vehicle where they pick them up.

If you want to help, you can sponsor a meal for a family ($45) or for an individual ($15).

Even though R Cottage is closed due to the pandemic, Ian and Sarah are focused on making sure others get through these unprecedented times.

“This is something that is in my heart and resonates with me,” said Ian Thompson. “If this can help families or individuals get through this and alleviate some of their outside stressors, then it is well worth it. We know food insecurity can also affect person’s mental health. There are many triggers.”

To date, over 300 meals have been delivered. Thanks Ian and Sarah and to everyone who has sponsored a meal.  You have chosen to #bethedifference

More details: info@rcottage.ca


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