Food for Thought

Food for Thought

When the world shut down in March 2020, we ramped up with a program called “Food for Thought” (FFT). FFT is a charity born from a locked-down walk-in filled with fresh vegetables about to rot, a bored staff eager to help, “and the wish to do some good for the community. We had the physical space at Thali to spread out, mask up, and cook. And so, we did that. We made a curry with our veggies and some bags of red lentils donated by our friends at The Ottawa Mission. We packaged it up with rice and bread and gave it away to anyone hungry, able to come to our downtown doors.

Word spread of what was going on at Thali and, within days, more food was donated, more hands were offered to cook, more volunteers arrived in dish up, and drivers to deliver.

Two years later and Food for Thought now has its own commercial kitchen, a dozen paid staff, dozens more volunteers, government grants, and a much-appreciated charitable status. We’ve been able to escalate production and we now put out thousands of meals a week focusing, still, on feeding the food insecure in our community—homebound seniors, new Canadians housed in emergency shelters, refugee families in motels with no way of feeding themselves a hot nourishing meal.

Feeding them feeds us. We are so grateful this wretched pandemic has given us, our team, and our marvelous army of volunteers, the opportunity to be useful. For more information about the program, please visit for

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Table of Community Champions

The Shepherds of Good Hope Foundation

When Shepherds approached asking for staff, the staff is the hardest commodity to give right now, but I said I’d cook,” Thottungal said. “We are cooking from here and giving. No cost. We’ll cover all the costs. We are giving a few extra hours for my employees too, so that helps.” Thottungal has signed up to provide meals for two weeks to Shepherds of Good Hope to help them out. “Give good simple food — comfort food — and people are happy