MONTREAL - The Montreal Canadiens will hold their annual food drive this Saturday, March 23 and invite Montrealers and fans who will be attending the game to bring non-perishable food items to the Bell Centre. In an effort to raise awareness and fight against food insecurity among toddlers the Montreal Canadiens are joining the Great Food Drive for Children, and appeal to the generosity of the public by asking for products essential for the healthy development of babies and toddlers, such as infant formula, baby puree, disposable diapers and wet wipes. The donations collected will then be given to Moisson Montréal, who will help distribute the resources to families in need in Greater Montreal.
On Saturday March 23, from 4 p.m. until the start of game against the Buffalo Sabres, fans and the public may drop their non-perishable food items, baby care products and donations in front of the Bell Centre, at the entrance to La Place des Canadiens located on the Avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal. Various members of the Canadiens organization, including Youppi! as well as the players' wives and girlfriends, will be on hand to collect the donations prior to the game. The first 1,500 people to donate will receive a limited-edition Canadiens poster, on top of having a chance to win a copy autographed by one of the players.
It is estimated that more than 20,000 children aged 5 and under receive food assistance in the Greater Montreal area every month; there are so many of them that they alone could fill all the seats of the Bell Centre. However, in all food banks, the same problem arises: donations of food suitable for babies and toddlers from 0 to 5 years old are as rare as the needs are great. "Food donations targeting the specific needs of toddlers represent only 1% of the food that Moisson Montréal redistributes. Faced with this desperate need, we came up with The Great Food Drive for Children," explained Richard D. Daneau, general manager of Moisson Montréal. "As one of Canada's 10 most socially impactful charities in our community, we are committed to continuing to support the most vulnerable members of the community and to meet the nutritional needs of young children so that they can develop fully."
For Geneviève Paquette, vice-president, community engagement for the Montreal Canadiens and General Manager of the Montreal Canadiens Children's Foundation, not only must we think consciously about the types of products we give to food banks so we can meet the ever-growing needs of different age groups, but it is also important to be mindful of people in need all year round. Although we hear a lot about food insecurity during the holidays, people tend to put that issue on the back burner in the months that follow. "Of course, there are times throughout the year during which we are more sensitive to giving back. While food banks receive the vast majority of their food donations between Thanksgiving and Christmas, families across Quebec, including those with very young children, are hungry year-round, and not just during the holiday season," points out Paquette. "Every day is a good day to give non-perishable food items."
About The Great Food Drive for Children
First established in 2012 by Moisson Montréal, The Great Food Drive for Children has become an annual campaign run in close collaboration with Moisson Rive-Sud, Moisson Laval and Moisson Estrie. Its primary objective is to raise awareness and to convey the serious health consequences food insecurity has on the 20,000 young children in the Greater Montreal area and the Eastern Townships. The eighth edition of this campaign will be held from April 1 to April 30.
About Moisson Montréal
A non-profit organization founded in 1984, Moisson Montréal is the biggest food bank in Canada thanks to its recovery and food distribution programs. More than 1,300 tons of food is dispensed to its 257 accredited community organizations on the Island of Montreal each month and to other Moissons in Quebec and Harvest organizations across Canada. In Montreal alone, these community organizations fulfill more than 640,000 requests for food aid each month. Moisson Montréal is financed and supplied mainly by donations. Its operations require the collaboration of more than 11,000 volunteers a year, enabling the non-profit to annually redistribute approximately $ 86 million in food value. For the last two years, Moisson Montréal was named by Charity Intelligence Canada among the "Top 10 Impact Charities", a list of 10 charities across Canada with the most impact per dollar of donations received. www.moissonmontreal.org