MONTREAL - With Thanksgiving drawing near, the Montreal Canadiens will hold their annual food drive this Saturday in an effort to fight against food insecurity which afflicts tens of thousands of local families each month.
The organization appeals to the generosity of Montrealers and fans who will be attending the game by inviting them to bring non-perishable food items to the Bell Centre. The donations collected will then be given to Moisson Montréal, who will help distribute the resources to families in need in Greater Montreal.
On September 28, from 4:00 p.m. until the start of game against the Ottawa Senators, fans and the public may donate their non-perishable food items, other essential products and monetary donations right next to the Bell Centre, at the entrance to La Place des Canadiens located inside the Cour Rio Tinto on 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 500 people to donate will receive a limited-edition Canadiens poster.
Every month, more than 650,000 food aid applications are filled through the 257 accredited community organizations served by Moisson Montréal, and more than a third of the beneficiaries are children. While the need for food donations is overwhelming throughout the year, fall is usually a critical time for food banks, whose reserves empty quickly as demands for support rise during the summer, while some food assistance programs, particularly in schools, are suspended. The month of September also tends to be more difficult for most disadvantaged families as it coincides with the start of the school year.
"Once children are back in school, many families struggle to make ends meet. Unfortunately, this financial stress increases as the holiday season approaches, which isn't always synonymous with abundance for everyone. Our organization obviously wishes that all Montrealers, young and old, get to enjoy a good Thanksgiving dinner, but also hopes they wouldn't have to worry about putting food on the table every other day of the year," explained Geneviève Paquette, Vice President of Community Engagement for the Montreal Canadiens.
Executive Director of Moisson Montréal, Richard D. Daneau, shares the same concern for the imminent winter months.
"Many organizations offer holiday baskets and make more generous distributions around Christmas time. Although food needs are more acute during this period, most organizations are closed at Christmas, so all the food we can collect before then is very valuable. Thanks to this special food drive generously organized by the Montreal Canadiens, we will be able to make reservations that will help us meet the needs of the holiday season," said Mr. Daneau.
Last year, thanks to the generosity of donors and Moisson Montréal's multiplier effect, which makes it possible to convert a $1 donation into $15 worth of food, more than 338 kg and $17,645 in food were collected during the Canadiens Food Drive.
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.