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Observation Big Turkey feeds those in need

Algonquin students, facility workers and chefs helped cook Christmas dinner for those in need during the holidays.

About 30 members of the Algonquin community took part in an event called Operation Big Turkey, held to provide home-cooked meals for needy members of the Ottawa community.

Over 2,000 meals were cooked right here in Algonquin’s kitchen, prepared by the School of Hospitality and Tourism. These meals were cooked Dec. 22, 23 and served on the 24.

The students and faculty cooked a mix of potatoes, vegetables, bread and turkey, all sent out to needy individuals and families throughout Ottawa.

Dave Templin, one of the organizers, has been involved with this project since the very beginning. He’s seen the rise and success since the start.

“It amazes me of how many people want to help,” he said, referring to the Algonquin community. He calls the students and staff of the program “just golden,” due to their volunteering and role in cooking and preparing the meals.

“There’s never a shortage of volunteers.”

Among them was Algonquin’s coordinator of the culinary program, Scott Warrick, who became involved in this event in its third year. Since then, he’s had a high level of involvement with the project and has been responsible for Algonquin’s role in cooking and volunteering.

Operation Big Turkey started in 2004, but this year’s event expanded to five locations around Ottawa: Overbrook Community Centre, Jack Purcell Community Centre, Albion-Heatherington Recreation Centre, Ron Kolbus Centre and Carling Recreation Centre. They all hosted the Christmas dinner, helping contribute to this event and showing some holiday spirit.

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