Organizers of Montreal’s first-ever “September 13th Miracle” food drive say they are overwhelmed by the support they received from the community, allowing for a successful event.
“The level of generosity and Montrealers’ willingness to help others have really been the hallmarks of the Miracle food drive,” said organizing committee member Gillian Aitken.
The drive was inspired by similar initiatives held elsewhere in Canada to help people in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 2,000 volunteers, some renting cars, others with children in tow, set out on Sunday to collect non-perishable food items left outside people’s homes.
The goods were then distributed to food banks and other community organizations.
Organizers said the rain, at times torrential, didn’t dampen the mood.
In fact, the event was so successful, that some food banks ran out of storage space following deliveries.
The idea behind the city-wide drive was to make it as easy as possible for the largest number of people possible to safely take part in the event.
For Aitken, the drive was as much about giving as it was about receiving.
“The pandemic has made many feel helpless in the face of it, and with this drive, people felt like they were doing something to help,” she said. “Even a small gesture could make a difference.”
In total, the grassroots initiative collected 25,000 kilograms of donations left outside 35,000 homes.
The goods were then redistributed to 200 families who had signaled a need and to almost 100 food banks and other local organizations focusing on social services, including places of worship and community centres.
Organizers say the Miracle food drive may be repeated in the future based on this year’s success.