Twelve-year-old Patrick Fournier and his friends learned something on Saturday morning — that asking for donations can be really, really frustrating.
But they also learned some sobering statistics about Montreal food insecurity.
“In this city, one out of three people can’t afford food, so, very good to help them out,” he said.
They were collecting food and donations for the annual food drive for the NDG Food Depot. This is the 15th year that they’re holding the event to help produce emergency food baskets.
“The issue is, food security is a problem in our very own backyard in our very own neighbourhood,” explains Robyn Dalton, president of the NDG Food Depot board of directors, “where people are reporting that they don’t have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, either in sufficient quantity or quality because of lack of resources.
“It’s important that we do something.”
Every year, the food depot supplies 15,000 food baskets. They target the 25 per cent of the NDG population that live below the poverty line, including one in three children.
More than 400 volunteers participated this year, including 100 students, like Fournier and his friends, from Loyola High School.
Allana Henderson, the mother of Fournier’s 12-year-old soccer buddy, Denver Damphousse, who was also collecting donations says, “The kids at Loyola, it’s their first year doing this, learning about the program. “So it’s a great way to get the kids involved in the community.”
Fournier says it was a really good experience for him.
The volunteers were divided into small teams and dispatched across the neighbourhood to go door to door. Eventually, Fournier and his friends received all sorts of donations, and in spite of the initial frustrations, Fournier said they had fun.
“Yeah. I would like to do this again,” he said.
He says it feels good to be helping out those who don’t always have what they need.
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