MONTREAL, Dec. 20, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - After weeks of hard work, the holiday season's preparations have come to an end this Saturday at Moisson Montréal. Almost 200 volunteers were welcomed to help for our traditional Christmas Harvest activity which closes the "Feeding the Holiday Spirit" campaign. The result were positive: 20,000 holiday baskets, 6,800 emergency bags and 10,000 gift bags will be available to be distributed during the holidays and the following weeks to help people in need in Montreal. Let's not forget the traditional turkey!
This year, the "Feeding the Holiday Spirit" campaign took place from October 15th to December 15th. "For weeks now, partners, volunteers and employees have been busy like little elves to make these products. We are very happy with the results", claimed Moisson Montréal's Executive director, Mr. Richard D. Daneau on Saturday. He added: "I am very pleased to witness how generous and supportive Montrealers are. We will be able to distribute even more food during the holiday season".
On December 17th, for the Christmas Harvest, close to 200 volunteers took part in the activity. Various elected representatives were also present including Mr. Stéphane Dion, federal MP for the county of Saint-Laurent and Mr. Denis Coderre, mayor of Montreal. Mrs. Élise Guilbeault, actress and spokesperson for Moisson Montréal also attended the event which culminated in the preparation of 6,800 emergency food bags, with the encouragement of our host, MC Gilles, and the joyful music of the band RAFFY. The emergency bags will be distributed in the days to come, in order to compensate for the lesser number of organizations open during the holidays.
This year, Moisson Montréal was able to produce 20,000 holiday baskets, which is 4,000 more than last year, totaling a million dollars' worth of goods. The baskets have been distributed over the past weeks and contain various ingredients to cook holiday meals. Besides holiday baskets and emergency bags, Moisson Montréal has also prepared 10,000 gift bags filled with treats to provide a little holiday magic to the lives of the people in need.
Moisson Montréal was also able to count on the generosity of over 200 corporations and partners from the food industry that were mobilized during the "Feeding the Holiday Spirit" campaign and who organized many food drives. These donations will help feed the people in need in Montreal during the holiday season and at the beginning of the New Year, when the need for assistance remains very present.
An important donation from the Fondation Marcelle et Jean Coutu
Moisson Montréal received a significant gift from the Fondation Marcelle et Jean Coutu, a loyal partner of the organization, which funded the purchase of 3,024 turkeys for traditional Christmas meals to be served by the accredited community organizations.
"This is a wonderful holiday gift", acknowledged Mr. Daneau. "Once again, the Fondation Marcelle et Jean Coutu expressed its generous support to the 137,000 people living with food insecurity in Montréal."
"We have to address the growing demands"
In the last Hunger Count published by Moisson Montréal, the organization witnessed an increase of 8.5% in the requests for food assistance in comparison with the previous year, reaching 658,000 requests per month.
"In a modern and prosperous city like Montreal, it is very concerning to see that poverty still grows significantly", mentions the spokesperson Élise Guibeault. "Not everyone experiences the Holidays in abundance, and Moisson Montréal has to respond to the growing demand", she adds.
In Montreal, 137,000 people, including 35,000 children, resort to food aid each month. "Each gesture of solidarity has a real and profound impact in the life of those in need", says Mrs. Guilbeault. "A donation of $1 permits the distribution of $15 worth of food. That's remarkable!" For example, with $50, Moisson Montréal will feed more than 20 families for Christmas.
The organization reminds Montrealers that people suffer from hunger all year round and that it is possible to help them in various ways. Last year, 9,000 volunteers have come to help the organization. "We need 50 volunteers each day to make the engine work", says Richard D. Daneau. "Everyone can help according to his own abilities. Each gesture has a significant impact!"
About Moisson Montréal
Charity founded in 1984, Moisson Montréal is the largest food bank in Canada. Through its collection, sorting, and distribution centre for emergency food assistance, the organization allocates nearly 1,000 tons of food per month to 254 accredited community organizations on the Island of Montreal. In turn, these organizations provide food assistance to thousands of people. Moisson Montréal receives funding and supplies mainly through donations. Its operations require the collaboration of nearly 9,000 volunteers each year and result in the redistribution of about 14 million kilos of foodstuffs, representing a total value of approximately $81 million. Moisson Montréal has won three awards for its Food Recovery Program in Supermarkets: the 2016 Sustainable Development Award from Mercuriades, the 2015 Corporate Citizenship Award from Novae (Supply Category), and the 2015 Élixir - Coup de Coeur Prize from PMI-Montréal. For more information, visit www.moissonmontreal.org.
SOURCE MOISSON MONTREAL
For further information: Gabrielle Marcoux, Communications and media coordinator, Moisson Montréal, [email protected]