Feeding Our Future providing meals for children living in poverty
Published Saturday, July 9, 2016 4:47PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 9, 2016 7:10PM EDT
There are thousands of children in Montreal who don't get enough to eat during the school year.
But just because school is over for the summer doesn't mean those children are suddenly well-fed.
"We know a little bit of the reality of Cote des Neiges," said day camp director Schneider Augustin.
"A lot of parents can't offer a healthy lunch for the kids."
A food research group based at the University of Toronto, PROOF, says one in six Canadian children live in families that have difficulty providing nutritious meals every day.
That's why volunteers will be making 40,000 packed lunches for children in day camps in Montreal this summer.
The Feeding our Future initiative started 15 years ago in Toronto, and has since expanded to nine cities across Canada.
"They always have a healthier sandwich, they have fruits, fresh, and two snacks. I give them juice also. So it's really a healthy package they have every day," said Augustin.
Volunteers meet at College Jean de Brebeuf to make meals for children at a dozen camps across Montreal.
"We start at 7 in the morning 3 days a week and we prepare for five days of lunches," said Nicole Paquette of Sodexo.
Teigen Brown volunteers with Moisson Montreal, and says there were many times he went without lunch as a child.
"It's unfortunate but not everyone can have the money necessary to provide, especially when sometimes it's a single parent, like in my case it was also a single parent situation," said Brown.
The volunteers are making 1,000 meals each day.
"I think it was really great to see the people all around us working and just being really happy even though they may never get to see the effects of what they're doing," said Brown.
At the Cote des Neiges camp, lunch is something the kids look forward to.
"I feel great. Energy and stuff like that. I have a lot of energy," said Yemi Diagne.
Damien Burden is a fan of classic Montreal food.
"I like some lunch. Like sometimes we have some bagels and that's very good and I like it," he said.
For Augustin, it's crucial to protect kids against hunger.
"I realized that they eat well. So they have more energy to run, more energy to do the activities and they're more happy at the end of the day," said the camp director.
Sodexo's goal is to serve 135,000 meals to children this summer.