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Fairmont Château Laurier opens kitchen to Food For Thought Ottawa

The organzation says it will now be able to make and deliver more free food Ottawa's most vulnerable populations until at least April of 2021.
2018-02-28 Chateau Laurier MV
Chateau Laurier, February 28, 2018. Mike Vlasveld/

The Fairmont Château Laurier will soon be alive again with the aromas and sounds of thousands of meals being prepared, thanks to a partnership with Food For Thought Ottawa (FFT).

At the start of the Pandemic, the FFT cafe changed its mandate in response to government restrictions and the food insecurity of many of its clients. 

Like many restaurants, the free cafe pivoted to more of a delivery-based service, averaging 1,200 free meal deliveries per day. FFT says it's delivered more than 90,000 meals across the city since the start of the pandemic.

"Our current mandate is to serve as many people as possible during the pandemic," says Sylvain de Margerie, the President of FFT. "The needs of our clients have really gone hand -in-hand with the number of [local COVID-19] cases." 

According to de Margerie, the large space and extensive equipment in the Fairmont Château Laurier kitchen will allow the FFT chefs to prepare more meals, while maintaining greater physical distance between them. 

The chefs include Joe Thottungal, the owner of the Coconut Lagoon and Thali restaurants, and 2020 recipient of the Ottawa Phils Outstanding Individual Philanthropist award.

The agreement is set to end in April 2021, however, the partners agree that the decision to end the agreement will heavily depend on the state of the pandemic.

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