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.
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 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.
Centraide reports that 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 671,000 people in Quebec get food assistance every month, which is 10 per cent more than in 2021 (610,000 people) and 34 per cent more than in 2019 before the pandemic (500,000 people).
One in four people (23 per cent) on the Island of Montreal is in a situation of food insecurity. This is the highest rate in Quebec. These people have to limit their food intake to meet other basic needs, such as paying rent.
Food banks have seen a record number of requests for assistance in Quebec (over 2 million monthly).
According to data from the 211 service, most food assistance follow-up conducted in 2022 in Greater Montreal was for asylum seekers and refugees.