Investments in food security

February 22, 2023 •  By Cristina Roque
Panier d'épicerie

Centraide gives agencies $1.7 million in emergency assistance to tackle issues related to food security

Montreal, February 22, 2023 – Centraide of Greater Montreal is investing additional funding of $1.7 million into 36 community agencies that provide food security services. This funding will help reduce the impact of inflation on people who battle every day to get enough to eat.

“Exploding housing and grocery costs are putting tremendous pressure on the community sector. When people on a low income have less money in their budgets to buy groceries, which have become much more expensive, they have no choice but to turn to agencies for food. Community groups also need more funding to purchase food supplies to meet increased demand,” said Claude Pinard, President and Executive Director of Centraide of Greater Montreal.

Demand only going up

Agencies have seen an increase in requests for food assistance, particularly among workers, seniors, people who live alone, people with reduced mobility, and asylum seekers and refugees, who represent a growing clientele.

Labour shortages, trouble recruiting staff, and a lack of funding and volunteers make it even more difficult for agencies to provide services on the ground.

To meet the needs of specific populations, community groups face challenges, such as providing varied and nutritious foods that meet the cultural dietary habits of a diverse clientele or supplying prepared meals for people with reduced mobility or a loss of independence.

Urgent aid needed now

This ad-hoc emergency funding from Centraide will go toward:

  • Purchasing food and other necessities
  • Purchasing or renting refrigerated equipment and materials
  • Transporting and distributing food
  • Hiring temporary staff to compensate for the lack of volunteers
  • Extending food aid to more people in the Greater Montreal area

This crucial assistance is on top of the $7.1 million that Centraide already allocates every year to over 100 agencies, making it the largest food-security funder in Greater Montreal after governments.

Food insecurity on the rise

Food insecurity is growing in Quebec, with Montreal being the territory most affected. In addition to field data that Centraide collects on increased needs, other signals also point to a worrying food security situation:

About Centraide of Greater Montreal  

A true agent of change, Centraide of Greater Montreal takes action in the territories of Laval, Montreal and the South Shore. It regularly supports a network of over 350 agencies and collective projects every year. Centraide is supported by businesses and organizations as well as the general public. It invests the money it raises through a needs analysis done in each of the territory’s neighbourhoods and communities. It implements strategies and actions to break the cycle of poverty and social exclusion to improve the living conditions of vulnerable people. Last year, it invested $59.1 million in the community, which represents over 88% of the funds raised through its annual campaign. Over 800,000 people are helped each year by the agencies supported by Centraide of Greater Montreal.