SASKATOON – The Friendship Inn dished out plate after plate of turkey with all the fixings Monday as the centre celebrated Easter. The Inn prepared 50 turkeys, 150 pounds of carrots and 200 pounds of potatoes for the big day.
When Walter Benn first visited the Friendship Inn 23 years ago, he was struggling with alcoholism. After a year of daily visits, his life began improving.
“They helped me with being sober and finding a job,” said Benn, who worked as a dishwasher at the Friendship Inn.
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He was among the crowd of people who gathered for a warm Easter dinner Monday around noon.
Staff and volunteers were prepared to hand out anywhere between 800 and 2,000 meals, according to Friendship Inn kitchen manager Tyler Friesen.
“Holidays are always special. It’s just wonderful to see how the community uses this place to just get together and enjoy a good meal with friends and family,” Friesen said.
However, there’s a demand for food all year round.
Friendship Inn executive director Sandra Stack said compared to the previous year, there’s been a 26 per cent increase in the number of meals handed out.
“You can volunteer, you can monetarily donate or you can bring food,” Stack said.
The Saskatoon centre is always looking for fresh home-grown fruit and vegetables. It also accepts unopened groceries. Donations can be dropped off at the southwest door in the Friendship Inn parking lot.
Online donations can be made here.