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West Island Mission to move as demands at food bank rising


The West Island Mission is moving to a bigger space as the economic crisis has pushed demand for their services to an all-time high.

The Mission will move from Labrosse Street in Pointe-Claire to a bigger location on Brunswick Dollard-des-Ormeaux.

Executive director Suzan Scarrow said the food bank serves around 1,000 people a month and needs to grow.

"We're a charity that serves people who are food insecure and can't afford to put food on their table, and we're walking into the fire for ourselves as a charity and potentially putting ourselves at financial risk to serve the larger community," she said.

Since 2020, demands for the food bank have increased.

"Ever since the pandemic started, I've seen it get busier and busier, which is around the time that I started to come here," said food bank client Paul Elliot.

Elliot said the Mission makes a huge difference for many like him.

"I am in need of monthly groceries," he said. "I can't be going to a regular grocery store every week because of financial situation."

Reintegration specialist Sandra Watson said people living on a fixed income struggle to keep up with the cost of living.

"I think the growing population of seniors coming is because of the cost of living, the increase in inflation, and I do believe it's going to get a little bit worse in the next couple of months because July 1st is coming up and the rent increases are going to be put out," she said.

Scarrow said the mission budgeted for the move, but expenses have increased. The new location is three times the size and four times more expensive.

"Budgets have exceeded what we put in reserve," said Scarrow. "That means I might have to dip into our operational budget. That means our clients will be affected. We're asking the community to help."

The project includes a partnership with Volunteer West Island and a centralized kitchen for Meals on Wheels. Scarrow said having a big food bank is no good if the shelves are empty and the non-profit is asking for financial help.

With that, they can, in turn, continue to feed families in the West Island.

The move is planned for the end of May. Top Stories

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