On this day of Thanksgiving, the West Island community thanks the organizations who work tirelessly to provide food security for all.
The West Island Mission
The West Island Mission has been prominent in ensuring food security for West Island families since 2005. They serve roughly 1000 individuals bi-weekly and monthly; some 250 families are supported by the WIM all year round as the community's needs grow. If you are seeking support from the WIM, click here. To find out how you can assist the Mission, click here.
Corbeille de Pain Lac-Saint-Louis
Corbeille de Pain / Bread Basket Lac-Saint-Louis works to help the West Island’s vulnerable population by providing food security and food education to the community. Their mission is to offer a variety of activities that promote the accessibility and affordability of healthy foods, all while collaborating with groups within the community.
Video: Borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro
Corbeille de Pain started by having a community kitchen that allowed people to cook meals together where they would then be able to take a second helping home for another time. This kitchen taught individuals cooking skills and provided meals for those experiencing food insecurity.
On Rock Community Services
On Rock Community Services has had a history of pivoting based on the needs of the community. When a youth centre was needed, they established one. When food security in our neighbourhood became a serious issue, their focus became the food bank. When there were flood waters threatening our community they provided food, cleaning supplies, and practical assistance. During the recent pandemic they have pivoted again to remain open in a manner that is safe for staff and volunteers, and to be able to safely supply nutritious food boxes to their clients.
PHOTO: On Rock Community Services
Their focus and mission is to help with those in our community who are struggling with food insecurity. Every program they have supports this underlying mission in some way and is accomplished through their full-time staff and volunteers. This takes various forms, including a food bank, a school lunch program, a thrift store, and a restaurant. If you are seeking assistance from On Rock Community Services, click here. To become a volunteer or donate, click here.
The Table de Quartier Sud de l'Ouest-de-l'Île
The Table de Quartier Sud de l'Ouest-de-l'Île is a non-profit organization that unites all spheres of residents, businesses, institutions, and politicians to improve the quality of life and to favor social development in the south of the West Island. They run a solidarity neighbourhood market that operates on a "pay what you can" model, and they offer a Food Security Toolbox. It is the result of many years of work, projects, internships, collective and collaborative efforts by various committees and community organizations. You’ll find five tools to better understand local resources, food insecurity issues, and the structure of the food system on the West Island. To get involved with the organization, click here.
The West Island Assistance Fund
The West Island Assistance Fund encourages cooperation between those that work towards the well-being of the community and the development of initiatives that meet the community's essential needs. WIAF provides food, clothing, and furniture to the community, as well as services supporting self-sufficiency. Through the food assistance programs, employees and volunteers offer food service to individuals and families in the community who need assistance with their basic needs. For more information, visit https://fdoi.org/en/. To donate, click here.
MADA West Island
MADA's satellite location serves as a base of operations for MADA services in the area. West Island clients can come to eat daily fresh and nutritious meals in the cafeteria, pick up meals to go, receive boxes of fresh produce weekly, and pick up their monthly Chez Makolet food and essential items ordered from this location.
West Island volunteers can also pick up Meals à Partager and Shabbat to Share boxes to distribute to clients living in the West Island area. Meals à Partager offers a fresh meal to vulnerable clients who may be unable to prepare their own nourishing meals. Shabbat to Share provides Seder meal boxes for a kosher meal to instill a sense of community and togetherness. This location allows MADA to increase its service area and makes it highly convenient for clients and volunteers living on the West Island.
Those who wish to volunteer with MADA may visit; https://madacenter.com/mada-west-island-volunteer/. For their other services, such as the monthly Chez Makolet food bank orders and Meals à Partager/Shabbat to Share boxes, people can submit the form at this link https://madacenter.com/benefit/, or this link; https://madacenter.com/westisland/, and the intake department will contact them to assess their needs and register them as a client
SOURCES: The West Island Mission, Corbeille de Pain Lac-Saint-Louis, On Rock Community Services, The Table de Quartier Sud de l'Ouest-de-l'Île, The West Island Assistance Fund, MADA Community Services.