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Montreal restaurateur makes holidays more special for the homeless, donates 900 meals

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WATCH: Montreal restaurateur makes holidays more special for the homeless, donates 900 meals – Dec 27, 2020

The production line at Au Coq in the Gare Centrale food court was in full swing Sunday morning. Around 10 employees volunteering on their day off were in the holiday spirit, preparing lunch for the less fortunate.

“We’re giving back to the community, to the homeless. We’re giving 900 meals for free,” said Alexandre Joly, Foodtastic’s director of operations.

Preparation was underway at 8 a.m. for a lunch time distribution. Individual boxes were filled with a traditional rotisserie chicken meal, including sauce, bread, coleslaw and fries. The hundreds of packages were then given to community groups, dedicated to helping the homeless.

Read more: Pandemic’s effect on homelessness could take years to play out. Experts call for action

The four community groups, said Joly, are Welcome Hall Mission, Old Brewery Mission, Salvation Army and Auberges Du Coeur.

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Au Coq franchisee Yves Lalime lent a helping hand as he watched over his restaurant. He’s made similar donations in the past, but Lalime says it is even more important this year to give warm meals to people living on the streets.

He told Global News it’s important for homeless people to have a holiday meal just like everybody else, and bring a little joy to their lives.

When boxed up and ready to go, each organization came to deliver the hot holiday meals. Of the 900 meals, 400 went to feed clients at the Old Brewery Mission.

Read more: Homeless advocates perplexed by decision to install skating rink in Cabot Square

When Catherine Vachon, head of food services at Old Brewery Mission, handed out the boxed meals she could see how pleased the people who received it were.

“Everybody enjoys a nice rotisserie chicken meal. I can see it in their eyes that they’re happy with this meal,” she said.

Not only are they happy with it, but so is the kitchen staff that Vachon says has been overworked, feeding an influx of clients during the pandemic.

“It gives them a little bit of relief for the day, and they can concentrate on the other meals and put more love into the other meals, so its great.”

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Both stomachs and hearts were filled with warmth on Sunday. Joly and Lalime said they only hope their act of kindness, inspires others to do the same.

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