News / Ottawa

Restaurants chip in to support free meals for veterans visiting Canadian War Museum

For 11 days leading up to Remembrance Day, one participating restaurant each day will donate up to 25 per cent of the proceeds to Operation Veteran, a program that helps provide refreshments to visiting veterans since 2009.

During the days leading up to Remembrance Day, 11 Ottawa restaurants will donate part of their proceeds to support war veterans.

Adrian Wyld / The Canadian Press

During the days leading up to Remembrance Day, 11 Ottawa restaurants will donate part of their proceeds to support war veterans.

Eating out around Ottawa these few days could mean more than just feeding one's mouth.

Eleven restaurants across the city have signed up to an ongoing campaign in support of a program that offers free meals to veterans when they're visiting the Canadian War Museum. For 11 days leading up to Remembrance Day, one participating restaurant each day will donate up to 25 per cent of the proceeds to Operation Veteran, a program that helps provide refreshments to visiting veterans since 2009.

The campaign, aptly named 11 Restaurants 11 Days, is an expansion of what history students at De La Salle high school have done for the past two years, said Michelle Reimer, one of the campaign organizers.

After they returned from a trip to France where they visited the historic site of Vimy Ridge, the students wanted to continue honouring the country's veterans for their role in the Canadian history. They've since teamed up with Foolish Chicken restaurant each year to raise funds for Operation Veteran.

"It's been very low-key, and now we want to make it bigger," said Reimer, adding the original goal was to raise at least $3,000 by the end of the campaign. "We believe that this number will be surpassed given the community reaction so far."

Operation Veteran started after founder Dr. Paul Kavanagh visited the Canadian War Museum and met one veteran who couldn't pay for his own meal at the cafeteria, said Reimer.

She said various reports from the Ottawa Alliance to End Homelessness have consistently shown a number of veterans becoming homeless "due to addictions and mental health issues."

"We know in our own city that we're having issues with veterans on the streets," she said, noting the plan for the coming years is to engage 11 schools and try to raise $30,000 to $50,000 for the cause.

"That way we can start thinking about responding to some of those greater needs."

Participating restaurants:

  • Coconut Lagoon (Nov. 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.)
  • Sutherland Restaurant (Nov. 6 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.)
  • Foolish Chicken (Nov. 6 from 5 p.m. till closing)
  • Arturo's Ristorante (Nov. 7 all day and Nov. 8 all day)
  • Burgers on Beechwood (Nov. 7 all day and Nov. 8 all day)
  • Beechwood Gastropub (Nov. 8 all day)
  • The Clocktower Blue Pub (Nov. 9 all day)
  • Vimy Brewing Company (Nov. 11 all day)

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