Restoring Hope in Pointe-St-Charles
Locals Groups Feed Neighbourhood Families
Volunteer workers and many organizations part of the community coalition Action Watchdog came together to feed local families in Pointe-St-Charles Saturday Oct. 5.
“Many of our staff members and volunteers dropped empty baskets on people’s porches yesterday, and now they have spread out in the whole neighborhood to retrieve the baskets, which hopefully will contain food for the needy,” said Action Watchdog project coordinator Karine Triollet.
Branded “The Point Sets the Table” in a play on words on Pointe-St-Charles, about 400 people gathered on Grand Trunk Street for the event.
According to Triollet, the unpaid workers started their shift at 9 a.m. and operated until 3 p.m.
“With the food that people will donate directly at our meeting point Maison St-Charles, we hope to uplift as many spirits as possible,” said Share the Warmth coordinator Michèle Chappaz.
“Food security, which is the availability and accessibility of food, is our main priority.”
Historically, Pointe-St-Charles was once a thriving community when manufacturing and other industrial jobs were plenty in North America.
But it then plunged into financial destitution as factories closed down, leaving many residents unemployed.
“Over 40 per cent of the residents are under the threshold of low-income,” Triollet said, adding that with only one supermarket in the entire community and the rising prices of transportation, residents are struggling to buy affordable food.
Multiple organizations were out in full force to help the Pointe-St-Charles community, including Share the Warmth.
The group offers multiple programs such as tutoring plans and cooking workshops for underprivileged families. According to Chappaz, nine staff members work with as many as 500 volunteers every year to keep the organization’s programs going.
“Today we’ve combined our food bank with the other groups,” said Chappaz. “I believe that charity associations will work more and more together and have a larger impact on the population”
Volunteers arranged activities for children such as face painting and storytelling while others played music. Cooks prepared a barbecue for the residents and the local markets sold fruits and vegetables.
“I really appreciate the effort they are making for us,” said a local resident who asked to be identified solely as Mia. “It brings the community together to fight poverty and ensure a valuable future for the next generation.”