“If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one” Mother Teresa
Did you know that one in six Canadian children under 18 go hungry?
Poverty and household food insecurity are strongly linked. 70% of households who rely on social assistance in Canada are food insecure. But also many who work suffer from food insecurity as well. Surprisingly, 60% of all food insecure households rely on wages and salaries as their main sources of income. With rising food costs, families that work low wage jobs cannot earn enough to put good food on the table. This is especially true of single parent families relying on one income to feed their families. In our community of Point Saint Charles, a lack of food is not a new issue and with rising food costs, a lack of healthy food, is becoming a familiar story that we hear daily.
Did you know that in Point Saint Charles?
• 28.6% of all residents live with low income after taxes compared to 21.3% for the island of Montreal.
• 50% of seniors who live in Point Saint Charles live with low income.
• 1 in 4 residents have not graduated from high school.
• 1 in 2 families in this community are single parent families usually headed by a female.
• In 2018, the number of people utilizing food banks and meal services grew to 10,390 in the southwest borough of Montreal representing 13.30% of the population (Moisson Food Report, 2018)
What can you do to help? Saint Columba House is launching its second annual hunger appeal to raise $42,000 to serve 4,039 extra meals or 80 extra meals per week. To feed more people, more often, in this community, we need your help.
This is how your gift, this holiday season can make a difference – a lifesaving difference through two food programs at Maison Saint Columba House.
Community Lunch At Maison Saint Columba House
We will provide 16,294 meals in 2019. For many low-income people, this is often the only nutritious meal they will eat for the entire day. This program was recently expanded to include the summer months, as the people in our community rely upon the daily, hot meal. In the first 6 months of 2019, we provided 4,325 free meals to those in need. Of this 3,000 meals were for children.
“I am lucky, I have enough money to buy my food, but then I am just sitting alone at home in front of the television,” says Marie, who comes regularly to Saint Columba House’s lunch. She appreciates the friends she made here, with whom she sits, eats and talks. “We have many common interests, and it feels like a family”, she explains. Last year, Marie was ill for a few months, and the best thing about getting better: being greeted like a long lost friend by the lunchroom crowd. “Here, I am not alone,” she smiles.
Meals on Wheels
Created in 2016, provides meals to seniors with mobility issues by delivering meals five days a week to residents of Point Saint Charles. The lunch that is delivered by a friendly face is accompanied by a social visit which may be the only human, social interaction that recipients have daily.
Wanda and Paulette’s story:
Wanda and Paulette are neighbours and participants in our Meals on Wheels program. “Every morning, I am looking forward for the people from Saint Columba House coming”, says the 92-year-old Wanda. “We have some great conversations, we joke a lot and laugh, and I always have a soft drink ready for them,” she says. “I like the food”, says her 72-year-old neighbour Paulette, “They make good food over there.” But she likes the social contact as well. “It is important for us to talk to each other, and to laugh together,” she smiles.
Number of people our food security programs are reaching:
It is projected that a total of 16,294 meals will have been served by the end of 2019:
• Of this, 7,400 or 45% of all meals served will be for seniors. Specifically, 4,800 meals to seniors with mobility issues and 2,600 meals for seniors with intellectual challenges.
• Of this, 4,450 meals will be offered free of charge. Specifically, 3,000 meals served to preschool children aged 4 years of age and 1,450 meals served to adults.
Without your help, we will not be able to meet the rising needs to feed vulnerable children, youth, adults and seniors in our community.
This holiday season, please give the greatest gift you can give; food.