Montreal children enrolled in food programs at school “fall between the cracks” during the summer, according to the head of food bank Moisson Montreal.
“These kids who come to day camp, we can’t just give them crackers,” director Richard Daneau said.
Moisson Montreal launched a fundraising campaign this week to boost its coffers by $75,000 so it can help underprivileged families get food support during the summer.
According to the food bank, the demand for support increases in the summer and its reserves empty quickly.
The need is great — nearly one in four children live in low-income families, according to Observatoire du Grand Montréal, a social planning and financial coordination group.
At the day camp Centre du Plateau, instructors will often bring extra food for the kids they know don’t have healthy lunches.
“I have staff who will prepare two lunches, one for themselves and one for a kid — who they know, if they put their hand to the bottom of their bag, there’ll be leftover McDonald’s, or leftover something,” said director Marie-Josée Avon.
Avon said the day camp calls families to offer enrolment in the program.
This is the fourth year Moisson Montreal’s “Hungry for Vacation” is running the program for day camps.
“[Children] need balanced meals that will be able to support them as individuals,” Daneau said.
The fundraiser goes on until August 23.