If, during the first wave of COVID-19, Moisson Rive-Sud benefited from the outpouring of solidarity and the generosity of its partners, the challenge is far from being a thing of the past. As winter approaches, when other Montérégiens could find themselves in a precarious situation, we hope for the best while preparing for all eventualities.
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Autumn is a period of abundance for the organization which receives food in quantity thanks to its partners. But even if the Montérégie is a territory where the agri-food industry occupies a prominent place in the economy, it is difficult to anticipate the needs for the tough months ahead.
“We are anticipating the holiday season and winter with a bit of concern,” admits Dany Hétu, who became director general of Moisson Rive-Sud after a career in the Canadian Armed Forces. Through the organizations we serve, we help 18,000 people. I can tell you that at the start of the pandemic, demand doubled. And right now, we’re in the red zone, so restaurants are closed and there are expected medium to long term impacts. We’ll see what happens, but we have some apprehension. ”
A weakened clientele
Dany Hétu also reminds us that due to the exceptional situation, the criteria for having access to relief food have been relaxed by many organizations in the region.
“As they are dealing with a weakened clientele, the organizations are more accommodating. There are people who, even if they have good salaries, can turn to food banks because their spouse has lost their job. We ourselves distribute food to six or seven organizations that are not members of our country. In a pandemic period, we want everyone to eat, so we won’t refuse anyone. ”
Fortunately, despite the increase in demand, Moisson Rive-Sud has so far been able to count on a group of assiduous volunteers and businesses that have significantly increased their contribution in order to help afflicted citizens to get through the problem. ‘test.
“Our employees were able to take some time off during the summer season, so it was great,” says Dany Hétu. We have found other ways to finance ourselves and I am extremely impressed by the generosity of the people. As much from the government as from corporations and individuals. So for the moment, we are doing well. ”
Text by Steve Martin, Local Journalism Initiative, La Relève