Donated pizzas no longer on menu at Ottawa shelter

A Stittsville pizza shop owner said he was stunned to learn he can no longer donate his leftover pizzas to the Shepherds of Good Hope.

Stittsville Little Caesars donated about 100 leftover pizzas per week to Shepherds of Good Hope

A Stittsville pizza shop owner says he's been told he can no longer donate his leftover pizzas to the Shepherds of Good Hope shelter.

A Stittsville pizza shop owner said he was stunned to learn he can no longer donate his leftover pizzas to the Shepherds of Good Hope.

This makes me ill thinking of how much food I now have to throw out directly into the garbage.- Jason Lee, Little Caesars franchise owner

Twice a week for close to four years, staff from the downtown shelter have made the 30-minute drive to the Little Caesars on Stittsville Main Street to pick up the pizzas, franchise owner Jason Lee wrote in a Facebook post. The donations, amounting to about 100 pizzas per week, helped feed about 300 people, Lee claimed.

Lee said he was told earlier this week the shelter would no longer accept donations of prepared foods, and now requires that all the food served to its clients be made in-house.

"This makes me ill thinking of how much food I now have to throw out directly into the garbage," Lee wrote. "This is just such a waste."

In his post, Lee called the decision "one of the dumbest and most unfortunate calls I could receive."

(Facebook)

Shelter reviewed food policy

A spokesperson for the Shepherds of Good Hope said the shelter recently reviewed its food handling procedures, prompting changes to its donated food policy.

"The health and safety of our community members is paramount," said spokesperson Leah Myer.

"We recognized that our ability to maintain safe food handling during the transportation of prepared food was not adequate."

The Shepherds of Good Hope will not accept certain prepared food items until it can upgrade its infrastructure, Myer said, adding that the shelter will continue to work with community partners that donate prepared food items.
A spokesperson for the Shepherds of Good Hope says the shelter won't accept certain prepared food items until it upgrades its facilities. (Giacomo Panico/CBC)

Provincial regulations

Provincial food safety regulations include guidelines about food preparation, storage and temperature during transportation.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Little Caesars said feeding the hungry has been among the company's core missions for decades, but acknowledged there are rules to be followed.

"We are thrilled that our franchisees enthusiastically share these same values on a local level," said Jill Proctor.

"However, we recognize and appreciate that each municipality and province has its own laws and regulations."