Rosie Awori (LJI)
Before the coronavirus pandemic, reports showed that at least 11% of Montreal households were experiencing food insecurity. With many out of work and others sick in hospital the numbers are projected to increase.
Subsequently, Montrealers, are being asked to help stock the pantries of their fellow residents for the city’s second Miracle Food Drive, taking place on Saturday, March 13. The organizers are hoping to collect as much non-perishable food as possible for distribution to food banks, organizations and individuals.
And in respect of the COVID-19 protocols, giving has been made easy, residents of the Greater Montreal region, including the West Island, Laval and north and south shore suburbs, need only place a non-perishable food item on their porch or stoop by 10 AM. Teams of volunteers working throughout the city will collect every item.
Last September, Montreal came together for the first Miracle drive with the help of 2,000 volunteers. Some 25,000 kg of donations were delivered to 200 families and 100 beneficiary organizations. Linda Hachey, Executive Director of the Mile End Community Mission, is quoted as saying after donations were delivered to her organization that the drive had gone a long way to “replenish our shelves and cupboards.”
In Montreal, the 200,000 who already count on community agencies for their food needs have seen many services suspended due to the pandemic. Many vulnerable people have been left with little access to aid while the number of people in need has increased due to confinement measures and job losses. Half the calls made to 211, Montreal’s free helpline, relate to food.
Canadian food banks have declared the pandemic year the most challenging and difficult year in their history. It has been reported that 1 in 7 Canadians has experienced food insecurity.
To make a difference in your community, residents are urged to sign up early as volunteers by visiting www.miraclemontreal.org. COVID-19 measures will be strictly adhered to. No one will ring or knock at the door. Volunteers will simply scoop up the food item(s) residents have left for them.