About 500 people from Edmonton’s vulnerable inner-city community filled their stomachs at a huge holiday meal served at the Hope Mission on Easter Monday.
About 50 volunteers made sure people who may not have a home still got to enjoy turkey, stuffing and other holiday favourites. The evening featured musical performances as well.
“This can be a really lonely season,” said Robin Padanyi, who works for the Christian not-for-profit organization. “A lot of guests coming to us are experiencing tremendous hurt and for us to come alongside them and to show them they are loved and we value them and to give the hope of Easter to those who are maybe in a season of hopelessness is really what this Easter meal at Hope Mission is all about.”
Diners were waited on by volunteers staff and volunteers transformed the facility to create an Easter atmosphere by hanging decorations.
“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of those who give of their time and resources to make this event happen, and are so excited to celebrate the joy of Easter with our friends in this exceptional way,” The Hope Mission said in a statement.
The Hope Mission began in Alberta’s capital in 1929 when Rev. Harold Edwardson established a soup kitchen in the inner-city to serve meals to hundreds of people struggling with unemployment and homelessness.
The organization says it currently serves over 1,000 meals a day and provides shelter for about 500 people. It also operates a 24/7 “rescue van” to provide emergency care for people in need.