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Centraide launches 2022 fundraising campaign: Inflation weighs heavily on low-income household

September 22, 2022 •  By Cristina Roque
Ferreira, Larammée, Desmarais et Pinard

Montreal, September 22, 2022 Centraide of Greater Montreal launched its 49th fundraising campaign today with a view to fighting poverty and social exclusion. There are 615,000 people living on low income in the Greater Montreal area. They are disproportionately affected by the added burden of inflation. Donor support for the 2022 campaign will be crucial to ensuring the stability of the community sector, which serves as a vital safety net for households in difficulty.

The rising cost of living (food, housing, transportation, etc.) is making daily life harder for people who are already vulnerable. Community agencies are struggling to respond to the many appeals for assistance, particularly in terms of food aid, housing and mental health. On top of this, there are problems with staff retention and resource depletion that make it more difficult to meet the growing need.

Centraide is helping households and agencies bear the brunt of inflation by collecting donations to fund the community sector, which is providing the support and services that enable vulnerable people to meet their basic needs. Centraide’s team of more than 20 social development experts monitor poverty in the 111 neighbourhoods and municipalities in Montreal, Laval and the South Shore, and it adjusts its strategies according to the needs. Centraide is one of the main funders of food security, after the government. It is also rallying support in Greater Montreal around the issue of housing. Last June, Centraide set up a working group made up of experts from various spheres (the community, philanthropic, institutional, private, academic and research sectors).

“Although inflation affects everyone, it is tougher on low-income households; the price hikes are hitting them hard,” said Claude Pinard, President and Executive Director of Centraide of Greater Montreal. “Community agencies are encountering people who have never before asked for help, like workers who are working two jobs to pay the rent and put food on the table, and families who are living in housing that is too expensive or too small for them, or where the conditions are unsanitary. There are parents who have to turn to food banks in order to have enough money to pay the bills, and there are seniors who are forgoing activities and outings to make ends meet, which leaves them more isolated and affects their mental health. There are also young people leaving school so they can take jobs and help support their families financially.”

“The situation is critical,” said Paul Desmarais III, Chairman and CEO of Sagard. “It is urgent to help those in need and work together to find lasting solutions. Every donation counts and makes a significant difference. Taken together with all the other contributions, it allows Centraide to help more than 350 agencies every year, which, in turn, support hundreds of thousands of people.”

“Centraide’s mission is to provide the most effective response to social issues in the Greater Montreal area. That being said, poverty and social exclusion are major challenges that can’t be properly addressed without the entire community pulling together. That is why I invite you to join forces with us to improve the living conditions of young people and families in vulnerable situations and, as a result, increase our overall impact,” said Laurent Ferreira, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank

About Centraide of Greater Montreal

Centraide of Greater Montreal is a real change agent serving Laval, Montreal and the South Shore. It provides ongoing support for a network of 350 agencies and joint projects every year. Centraide receives funding from businesses and organizations as well as from the general public. It invests the money it raises based on a needs analysis conducted in each of the neighbourhoods and communities in the territories it serves. It implements strategies and undertakes activities designed to break the cycle of poverty and social exclusion in order to improve living conditions for vulnerable people. The agencies supported by Centraide of Greater Montreal assist over 800,000 people each year. More information: centraide-mtl.org.

On the eve of its 50th anniversary, Centraide of Greater Montreal has adopted a new slogan: “Let’s all lend a hand.” It is a call to action to all members of society — individual citizens, businesses, institutions and foundations. This clear and simple slogan encourages everyone to pitch in and join the fight against poverty and social exclusion. This past spring, Centraide also launched an advertising campaign under the theme: “Without the burden of poverty and exclusion, we can all rise up.” See it here.