Hope Mission to deliver 400 Easter meals to Alberta families in need

Volunteers are preparing more than 400 meals for Albertans in need over the Easter long weekend.

Hope Mission is combining resources with West Side Kings Church to deliver more than 300 Easter meals to families in need around Calgary.

"Normally we would have big community gatherings and full-on Easter meals at our centre," said Kelly Row, community engagement lead for Hope Mission.

"This year, we're not able to gather people here, so we're packaging the meals and delivering them instead."

As part of the effort, more than 20 volunteers have been working for weeks to prepare and cook meals that include servings of chicken, mashed potatoes and vegetables.

West Side Kings Church will prepare and supply a dessert for every meal.

Hope Mission will also deliver an additional 100 meal packages to families in Red Deer.

Most of the meals have been packaged, and the Hope Mission team will spend the next few days distributing them throughout Calgary and Red Deer.

"It's a lot of road time, but we want to be sure the families we are serving have a blessing over Easter season and have a chance to sit down and enjoy a meal with their entire family," said Row.  

As with many other charitable organizations, Hope Mission has been hard-hit by COVID-19 and seen how it continues to impact vulnerable families.

"It's been a task for us to keep up with demand. During the pandemic we've pretty much doubled the amount of families we're serving throughout Calgary," said Row.

"It impacts them greatly when we show up at their home with a package of food, they don't have to go out and scramble to find it."

Row said he anticipates the majority of packaged meals will be delivered by Saturday evening. Hope Mission also facilitates an after school recreation and hot meal program for children, summer camps for inner-city children and youth, and operates a year-round youth sports centre.