The Owen Sound Hunger and Relief Effort (OSHaRE) held the grand opening of its new location Friday. (Jan 3rd)
It's now in a much larger space at the former Salvation Army location at 946 3rd Avenue East in downtown Owen Sound.
The grand opening of the meal centre which feeds people in need at no charge, showed off the newly renovated space that Director Colleen Trask Seaman says couldn't have been possible without the many trades people, contractors, businesses and other skilled people donating their time and supplies to the renovation.
"There is not one part of this whole process that hasn't been touched in some way by our community and the generosity of them," says Trask Seaman who thanked a long list of businesses and people who worked on getting the new location up and running.
OSHaRE has been operating in that spot since September. She says it's gotten a positive response from the people who eat there, "They love this space, the brightness of it, it's just warm and feels like home here which is great."
Trask Seaman says the space has new key features including a play space for children as well as industrial sized fridges and freezers.
Being able to freeze and refrigerate more things has expanded what they can serve, "We've been able to do a lot more with our meals which they're really enjoying, lots of fresh vegetables and fruits and using new products that we haven't been able to use before becasue we didn't have the capability of processing them."
Trask Seaman says another new 'huge' thing is the Food Rescue program. "Zehrs has really been helping us with stuff that they are not able to sell, and so they bring it down here and we're able to go through it and turn it into beautiful meals for our guests."
She says other food suppliers are encouraged to become part of the Food Rescue program, "That's definitely a program that we would love to see grow in this area because there's lots of food that's going to waste and it's a really great way to help out lots of charities."
OSHaRE feeds between 80-100 people a night and 21,000 meals a year.