Food bank hoping donations roll in this summer
Published Monday, July 24, 2017 1:51PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 25, 2017 9:28AM EDT
A food bank in Montreal is reminding the public that the need for donations does not shrink in summertime.
Moisson Montreal has launched a new fundraising campaign for the next month, hoping to raise $50,000 by August 20 in order to provide food for families that need it.
Richard Daneau, director of the charity, said summer is always a difficult time to collect funds because many Quebecers are on vacation and not thinking about those who are less fortunate.
“We say that hunger doesn't take vacation,” he said. “During the Christmas season, everybody's very generous, everybody thinks about helping others, but during the summer vacation people think about other things.”
Daneau said with schools closed for the summer, the demand from families actually increases as children no longer have access to school-based breakfast programs.
"To make sure that we continue to provide the support to those kids so they stay attached, they remain within the system and they don't lose faith, that they keep the faith that eventually things are going to get better for them," said Daneau.
"We make sure that they will continue their schooling program and ensure that they see better days."
The charity also gets help from volunteers with Sodexo, who are making tens of thousands of packed lunches for children in day camps this summer.
Each day volunteers make about 900 lunches for children at camps -- 39,000 by summer's end.
To help raise funds for those lunches and other food, Moisson Montreal is holding multiple events until Aug. 20, including a picnic at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, enabling donations via text messaging, and teaming up with La Ronde: on Aug. 19 and 20 admission to the amusement park is free for those who donate six non-perishable food items.
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.
Meantime, at Welcome Hall Mission, donations are vital year round. They operate a free grocery store, where food comes in from partners including Moisson Montreal.
Though volunteers are plentiful, donations from the public are dropping.
“We need to keep people aware of the fact people are hungry 365 days a year,” said Kathryn Stephens of the Welcome Hall Mission.
Officials at Sun Youth say donations to their food bank are down, but the demand has gone up a lot.
“We're noticing that a lot of food banks are closed, so we're stuck with the balance of people coming in for help,” said Sun Youth’s Sid Stevens.