Would you wish to assist meals banks in Montreal? Give time, cash or nutritious meals
When it comes to donating to food banks in Montreal, it’s not just about clearing dusty cans and boxes from the back of the pantry.
It is important to look out for the expiration date, make sure the packaging is not damaged, and consider nutritional value before handing anything in to a community organization.
But the reality is that financial giving goes a lot further than canned food, said Richard Daneau, director of Moisson Montréal.
“The social impact of putting money on the board instead of groceries is 15 times greater,” said Daneau.
“With every dollar we get, we can give more than $ 15 in food.”
Moisson Montréal is a not-for-profit organization that distributes donated food to around 250 community organizations on the island of Montreal, including communal kitchens, women’s shelters, and smaller dining tables.
The organization relies heavily on volunteers to keep things running smoothly, Daneau said. He encourages people to donate their time whenever possible.
If not, he said, money keeps things running smoothly.
Last year, the grocery bank – the largest in Canada – was able to distribute $ 85 million in groceries while spending only $ 5.5 million on operating expenses.
Only one percent of the budget goes into administrative costs, but there is spending on picking up and delivering groceries across the island, he said.
Would you rather give food? Make it healthy
On the other hand, some people prefer to give food and that is welcome too. It’s important to donate healthy, non-perishable options, however, Daneau said.
Moisson Montréal doesn’t need expired foods like pasta and rice. Proteins are also promoted along with cooking ingredients like flour, spices, and oils.
“Feeding people is part of the story. Providing them with good food that can lead them to good eating habits, for example, is another side of the story,” said Daneau.
Of course, damaged or expired goods are not welcome.
“If it’s not good for you, it is not good for someone who lacks the money to buy food,” he said.
“We pride ourselves that Moisson Montréal says we would eat anything we give with no problem or concern.”
Wanted high quality food
The aim is to offer high-quality, nutritious food, with up to 25 percent fresh fruit and vegetables. But that doesn’t mean residents should go to the organization’s warehouse with leafy greens or orange bags, Daneau said.
Grocers and farmers donate large amounts of fruit, vegetables and meat, he said. Otherwise, it will be too difficult to deal with small, one-time donations of perishable goods from individuals.
Food banks don’t really need junk food either.
“It’s always fun getting crackers and fries and the like, but if we really want to give them the means to grow up, we have to provide plenty of food,” Daneau said.
“Whenever we do a meal drive, we try to get the message across that proteins like tuna or peanut butter are anything that is consistent, [are needed] to support the people. “