Montreal campers participate in meals financial institution’s city gardening venture

With inflation reaching an almost 40-year high, the Sun Youth food bank says demand for its services has soared — but donations haven’t kept up.

That’s where a team of young gardeners comes in.

Campers in Sun Youth’s day camp program have been tending to an urban garden in Montreal’s Parc-Extension neighborhood.

All the fruits and veggies they help produce are donated to the food bank.

The idea is to teach kids about sustainability and the importance of giving back, especially at a time when so many families are in need.

“We have a lot of new clients coming to the food bank,” said Eric Kingsley, director of emergency services at Sun Youth.

Almost 20 per cent of said clients have jobs but still can’t afford to eat — that’s almost twice as many as last year.

“Seniors, people on welfare, they’ve seen their buying power melt away. They’re in the grocery store, and they can’t get to the end of the list,” said Kingsley.

The first thing to go on that list is often meat and fresh produce.

The Sun Youth foodbank organizers say inflation has been driving more people to use their services. (CTV News)

For campers like Luna, the program is also a great way to connect with nature.

“What’s my favorite thing about gardening?” she pondered. “You get to plan and see bugs!”

Sun Youth runs two community gardens in total. Last year, it produced over 2,000 kg of fruits and veggies.

Organizers hope this summer is even more fruitful.

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