Our “Meals to Motels” initiative marks one year of addressing hunger for those sheltering in motels.

It’s been ONE YEAR of the Meals To Motels (M2M) which addresses hunger for our vulnerable population sheltering in motels.

In late April 2020, during our weekly Pandemic Emergency Housing & Homelessness meeting, concern was expressed that the people being sheltered in motels were challenged with getting to OSHaRE, to get meals, while practicing social distancing during lock-down. A quick brainstorm with all the partners resulted in a year-long program that has delivered almost 10,000 meals to motels.

January of 2021 was the busiest month with over 1,200 meals delivered. The fourth week of February was the largest single week with 370 meals delivered.

The program had to be safe; the hot OSHaRE meals had to be delivered within a 30 minute time frame to ensure food safety. This limited the program to a limited number of motels, specifically Owen Sound and Chatsworth based motels.

Grey County funds the daily mileage cost, with Habitat for Humanity delivering April to November, the United Way November to present. Staffing costs have been covered by the partner organizations.

How it works: YMCA Housing, M’Wikwedong and the Women’s Centre all communicate daily with OSHARE regarding how many people that are sheltering and at what motels.

OSHARE cooks and assembles their meals, along with frozen meals prepared by the St Aiden’s Frozen Meal program, which are then place in coolers and picked up by United Way staff who deliver them to the identified motels.

On Fridays the people receive Friday’s supper (hot), Saturday lunch supper (cold) Sunday lunch and supper (frozen).

On Mondays United Way staff make an extra run with a Monday lunch.

Who it is helping: There are individuals and families affected by homelessness currently sheltering in motels. Most are looking for long-term housing but due to the rental costs and housing crisis, it is an on-going struggle.

We thank all of our community partners who are involved with this initiative.

For more information, contact:

United Way of Bruce Grey: 519-376-1560
Y-Housing – Joan Chamney: 519-371-9230
OSHaRE – Colleen Trask- Seaman: 519-376-3899