Montreal-area students sell rainbows to benefit food bank

Montreal couple sells rainbow bracelets to help local food banks
WATCH: A pair of West Island students have been making the most out of quarantine. They've designed bracelets and stickers that they are selling. A portion of their profits are being donated to Moisson Montreal. Global's Felicia Parrillo has more.

Sara Menniti and Krisstoffer Denis have been keeping busy while in quarantine due to coronavirus.

The couple, who are also students — Menniti in nursing and Denis in business — have developed a small business that was inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

READ MORE: Organizations team up to offer free grocery service to West Island residents amid COVID-19 pandemic

“We were trying to keep busy by baking, being in the kitchen, and passing time that way,” said Menniti. “When we were baking, we were just so grateful that we were always able to open up our pantry and there was always food and stuff to bake with.

“It gave us a realization that not a lot of people are able to do that.”

So the West Islanders came up with an idea.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: Montreal food bloggers help local restaurants feed front-line workers

They’re selling rainbow bracelets, and stickers, that you can put almost anywhere, with half the proceeds going to Moisson Montreal.

They dubbed it Arc-en-semble.

A rainbow bracelet sold by Arc-en-semble.
A rainbow bracelet sold by Arc-en-semble. Sara Menniti

“I see kids going around without their friends, just walking around, and you see them, they look so sad,” said Denis. “I feel like the rainbow itself is a sign of hope. Let’s say they’re wearing their rainbow bracelet and they look over and see a rainbow on a car, they’ll feel like they’re part of a collective mass — part of something bigger.”

The bracelets sell for $3 and the stickers for $2.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Volunteers across Montreal are in mask-making overdrive

The couple has sold them through their Instagram, page by going door-to-door and even by reaching out to local businesses.

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So far, Arc-en-semble has donated about $1,600 to Moisson Montreal.

READ MORE: Solidarity Gardens: West Island community groups ask people to help feed families in need

A few weeks ago, Sophie McCann, West Island Community Shares executive director, said local food banks have been seeing a 20 to 50 per cent increase in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The non-profit was coming up with new ways to raise money for food banks, including asking West Islanders to grow a garden and donate the crops.

Arc-en-semble’s products being sold at a Laval-area business.
Arc-en-semble’s products being sold at a Laval-area business. Sara Menniti

The students say as the province slowly begins to deconfine, they hope their products remain as a symbol of hope.

“Even though we’re coming out, it’s to remember that something has happened. We can’t act like nothing happened.

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“Some people have lost loved ones, some people have struggled through hardships. It’s [the rainbow] to realize that we’ve all made it out.”