MONTREAL -- With the Bell Centre devoid of any NHL hockey for the foreseeable future, the Montreal Canadiens decided to team up with La Tablee des Chefs and Les Cuisines Solidaires to help stock the province’s food banks during the COVID-19 crisis.

Bell Centre chefs and Habs employees will make at least 50,000 meals - and possible double that - to donate to Quebec’s most vulnerable, according to a news release on the Habs’ website.

“This is an opportunity for us to be able to give back,” said Bell Centre head chef Yves Lowe. “We're so privileged to work throughout the year on unique events, festivals, and hockey games. We know how lucky we are, so to be able to have this opportunity to give back to people who aren't as fortunate during a time like this is special.”

La Tablee des Chefs and Les Cuisines Solidares donated ingredients for the meals along with grocery partner IGA.

“In the current situation we’re in, it’s more important than ever to support food banks,” said IGA’s vice president of marketing, Carl Pichette.

Pichette added that five per cent of transactions through the grocery store’s online IGA Essentials platform will de donated to the initiative.

In week one, over 3,000 pounds of pork shoulder along with tomato salsa, mixed veggies and fingerling potatoes were prepared.

This is the second donation the Habs have made to local food banks since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The Canadiens delivered over 13,000 pounds of food that would have been used during the team’s home games in March.

Bell Centre during COVID-19 crisis