MONTREAL -- Johanne Labonté has been baking a variety of treats in her Rosemont kitchen every day amid the COVID-19 pandemic since early March – but they’re not for her.

“I don’t have a sweet tooth,” she said. 

In the afternoons, a volunteer from Care Montreal – a shelter that operates out of the basement of a church in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve – comes to pick up Labonté’s creations. 

“The best pouding chomeur in the world, that’s what I use,” Labonté said, glancing at a piece of paper. “Follow the recipe, put a little bit of the old touch, and a lot of love.” 

Labonté specified that she uses real maple syrup in the pouding chomeur recipe. 

“This is being cooked for real people, we want them to eat well,” she said. 

When the pouding chomeur has been put in the oven to bake, Labonté starts on her sugar pies. She mixes ingredients together in a bowl with her bare hands, making sure to wash them thoroughly both before and after. 

“I’ve had this recipe since I’m 18 years old,” Labonté said. 

Before the pandemic, Labonté taught Taekwondo. Now, she channels her energy into making someone else’s day a little brighter. Folks who run the shelter said everyone looks forward to dessert. 

“I try to do my share, I enjoy cooking, I enjoy giving,” Labonté said.

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