NDG Food Depot's annual food drive thrives despite obstacles
Published Saturday, November 30, 2013 4:27PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, December 1, 2013 12:01PM EST
A tradition in NDG and Montreal West for 15 years, hundreds of volunteers knocked on doors Saturday collecting food for the NDG Food Depot.
As many as 18,000 donation bags are sent out into the community, and most come back stuffed with food and other donations to help feed the less fortunate.
Hundreds of volunteers help sort through bags to redistribute them into the community.
“The food that we collect today basically provides food for our emergency food service from now until next November, December,” said director Kimberly Martin.
Notre-Dame-de-Grace Liberal MNA Kathleen Weil said the food depot is vital to the community, helping more than 700 people every week, and that’s why her office offered $6,000 to the organization.
“The needs are greater and greater every year. I think that's the important point, unfortunately. We would like not to have to have food banks, but we need food banks,” she said.
It takes the work of volunteers like Bill Hlibchuk and his daughter Clara make sure the operation runs smoothly.
“Every year it’s surprising to see how many people actually care and who take the time to give,” said the elder Hlibchuk
“I really think that I'm helping them and that we're giving them stuff to survive,” said Clara of the less fortunate in the community who receive the food bags.
It has been a difficult year for the depot. After being forced to leave its headquarters in March, passionate volunteers helped keep the 25-year-old depot alive and running.
A demolition notice is taped to the door of the old location of the depot after the building and property were sold to a new owner and the organization was forced to leave.
The organization is still searching for a permanent home, but organizers say that the annual holiday food drive was never in jeopardy.
“It feels good that we have all these people here supporting us and supporting our mission,” said Martin.