MONTREAL, March 30, 2016 – The fifth edition of The Great Food Drive for Children, created by Moisson Montréal, in partnership with Moisson Rive-Sud and Centre de bénévolat et moisson Laval, kicks off today and will end on Saturday, April 9. This year, the campaign seeks to raise a record $350,000 to provide monthly food assistance to 18,000 children (0‑5 years) across the Greater Montreal region, who do not have enough to eat.
“The low Canadian dollar has led to sharp increases in the price of food, consequently making it harder for a large number of Montrealers to eat well,” explains Richard D. Daneau, the new Executive Director of Moisson Montréal. “Low-income families are therefore finding it increasingly difficult to budget for healthy food, such as fresh fruit and vegetables. Many are forced to make less healthy decisions and children, unfortunately, are the biggest losers in this scenario. In fact, 18,000 children are living with food insecurity each month in the Greater Montreal region. They could almost fill the Bell Centre.”
“The goal of the 2015 campaign was hardly achieved,” recalls the Executive Director of Moisson Rive-Sud, Nola Leblanc. “The issue is not enough discussed, but it is real in the lives of these families and children. Parents are going through a difficult period because children’s products are rare and expensive on food banks’ shelves. And yet, donations of food items for babies and infants only represent about 1% of total donations received, hence the importance of the Great Food Drive for Children.”
This year, the three Moisson have added new activities that will help raise general awareness about the negative impact of food insecurity on young children across the Greater Montreal region. For the first time, Moisson Montréal will open its doors to the public for Children’s Day on April 2. The theme for this free event is sugar shack and will feature a variety of activities, including a volunteering activity and brunch with Bob le Chef. Deadline to book your ticket is March 31, 2016. There will also be a fundraising auction, with prizes supplied by five famous Montreal chefs. To win a meal cooked in your home by Stefano Faita, Danny St-Pierre, Bob le Chef, Jonathan Lapierre or Étienne Huot, make a bid on www.encan.granderecolte.com between April 4-8.
All money raised will be used to buy foodstuffs and distribute them to 85+ community organizations that provide food assistance to expectant mothers and families with young children. “Thanks to the donations we’ll receive, new mothers and young families in need will receive crucial foodstuffs, such as infant formula, baby food and cereals for babies, among other things,” explains Kathleen Gagnon, Executive Director of Centre de bénévolat et moisson Laval.
In addition to long-time campaign godmother Claudia Marques, radio host at The Beat 92.5, The Great Food Drive for Children will have two new spokespersons: our first godfather, Stéphane Demers, a well-known Québec actor, and a second godmother, Jamie Orchard, Senior Anchor on Global TV. All three understand the challenges of welcoming your first child and look forward to the challenge of educating a new segment of the population about the rise of food insecurity among low-income families.
How to give
- Online: greatfooddrive.com
- By SMS: text CHILDREN to 20222 to make a $10 donation and you will be feeding 32 children for a day
- In person: In any of the 112 Uniprix drugstores in Montreal, Laval and the Montérégie region
- By cheque or by telephone: 514 344-4494, ext. 222
March 30: – Press conference at the Montreal Diet Dispensary and meet-and-greet with our three spokespersons
– Collection donations in four STM Metro stations (new this year!) – Berri-UQÀM, Montmorency, Bonaventure and Place-des-Arts
April 2: Children’s Day (new concept)
April 4-8: 5 ans, 5 chefs Auction (new this year!)
April 6: Benefit dinner at Danny St-Pierre’s restaurant, Petite Maison (new this year!)
April 9: Campaign ends
April 13: Announcement of final results
About the Great Food Drive for Children
Initiated in 2012 by Moisson Montréal, the Great Food Drive for Children is an annual campaign that involves two other major food banks, Moisson Rive-Sud and the Centre de bénévolat et moisson Laval. The primary objective of the Great Food Drive for Children is to raise monetary donations for toddlers, in order to help feed 18,000 little ones aged 0-5 living in poverty in the Montreal region.
About the three Moisson
A non-profit organization founded in 1984, Moisson Montréal is today the largest food bank in Canada. Through its centre for collecting, sorting and distributing emergency food assistance, the organization allocates nearly 1,000 tons of food per month to close to 250 accredited community organizations on the Island of Montreal. In turn, these organizations provide food assistance to 146,000 people, including close to 34,000 children. Moisson Montréal receives funding and supplies mainly through donations. Its operations require the collaboration of nearly 8,000 volunteers each year and result in the redistribution of about 13 million kilos of foodstuffs, representing a total value of close to $61 million. Moisson Montréal has won two awards for its Food Recovery Program in Supermarkets: the 2015 Corporate Citizenship (Supply category) award from Novae and the Élixir (Coup de Coeur category) prize from PMI. For additional information: www.moissonmontreal.org
Moisson Rive-Sud is the most important food bank of the Montérégie that collects foodstuffs from local producers and agribusinesses in order to freely distribute them to close to 80 accredited community organizations. MRS noticed an increase of 34 % of the demands for food assistance in the last year. MRS redistributes more than 3.5 million kilos of food annually, representing a total value of more than $ 17, 7 million. The main objective of Moisson Rive-Sud is to help the entire weakened population of our community. www.moissonrivesud.org
The Centre de bénévolat et moisson Laval was founded in 1981. Its goal is to develop and promote volunteering and mutual help on a social level, in the city of Laval area. This is done to improve the Laval community’s well-being. Furthermore, the CBML manages a regional food bank to meet the needs of community organizations by recycling, processing and free distribution of quality fooditems; in this way, the CBML can also help beneficiaries in need in the Laval region, for example, through the Emergency Food Service. www.benevolatlaval.qc.ca/en
Campaign godfather Stéphane Demers and godmothers Claudia Marques and Jamie Orchard are available for interviews.
To book an interview with one of our spokespeople during the meet-and-greet or during the campaign, contact:
Media Relations, SYRUS
514-935-2777, ext. 205
For additional information on the campaign and its activities:
Communications Coordinator, Moisson Montréal