Montreal Food Bank needs help
Montreal Food Bank needs help – “Summertime and the livin’ is easy” from the well-known 1934 song by George and Ira Gershwin, could well describe this time of the year for plenty of people. But as city dwellers leave behind the drudgery of their daily routines and head out on vacation to beaches or campgrounds, what is also left behind are the emptying shelves of Montreal’s food banks and the people who rely on them.
The livin’ ain’t so easy for the many people who struggle to put food on tables for their families. Hunger simply does not take a vacation. According to Moisson Montréal, nearly 40,000 young Montrealers depend on food aid, which puts additional pressure on food banks during the summer. With schools closed for the season, the demand from families actually increases as children no longer have access to school-based breakfast programs.
Moisson Montreal is the largest food bank in Canada and manage the redistribution of national and provincial donations to 19 other ‘Moisson’ food banks in Quebec. But the food banks are stretched and reserves are emptying quickly. So this year they will be holding the second edition of their ‘Hunger Doesn’t Take a Holiday’ fundraising campaign from July 20th to August 20th 2017.
Their goal is to raise $50,000 – with every dollar donated allowing the food banks to distribute $15 worth of food with the ongoing support of their suppliers, including their ingenious ‘Food Recovery Program in Supermarkets’. The recovery program redistributes food the supermarkets might have thrown away but is still good for consumption, including meat and substitutes, to participating organizations.
To help raise funds for ‘Hunger Doesn’t Take a Holiday’ campaign, people can make a donation online (link below) or by texting HOLIDAYS to 20222 ($10 donation). The charity said ‘while it welcomes donations in kind, it prefers to receive cash, since through various partnerships it can stretch each dollar much more effectively’. And stretching the dollar is a daily struggle…
‘Hunger Count’ is an annual survey of food banks, part of the Food Banks Canada (FBC) network that is conducted throughout the country in the month of March. The survey’s aim is to measure the use of food banks by community organizations all across Canada – and every year, Moisson Montréal produces its own Hunger Count based on the data it collects from the community organizations it serves across the island. Here are the highlights of their 2016 Hunger Count:
– 254 community organizations across the island of Montreal benefited from our services on a regular basis (55 more organizations received ad hoc assistance)
– 658,256 requests for food assistance per month, an 8.5% increase over 2015
– 137,387 individuals, including 45,000 children, receive food-aid on a monthly basis through the vast Montreal food assistance network
– 14.2 million kilos of foodstuffs and other basic products representing a value of 81.5 million dollars were distributed
– Working closely with 304 agrifood businesses, 113 supermarkets to effectively collect their donations
– 8,888 volunteers put in more than 85,700 hours to help us continue our mission, representing 47 full time employees
The numbers are discouraging, especially in a city where millions of dollars are spent on all types of festivals and events. Too many people are unable to put food on the table, never mind pay the price of a ticket to attend one of the more popular indoor shows. It’s a shame.
We certainly can’t depend on the present administration at City Hall, with a Mayor who decided spending almost $3.5 million on granite stumps or close to $40 million on lighting up the Jacques Cartier Bridge, to be more important than feeding the people in his city first – but we can.
We are the ones trying to make a difference. And so is Moisson Montreal, as well as organizations like Sun Youth and the Welcome Hall Mission. If you are able to, please consider making a special donation this summer to the ‘Hunger Doesn’t Take a Holiday’ fundraising campaign at: http://www.faimdesvacances.com/fundraising-campaigns/hunger-doesn-t-take-a-holiday-5