Moisson LAVAL
Food aid counter

 Christmas basket campaign

For over 31 years, the Centre de bénévolat et moisson Laval mobilizes hundreds of volunteers every year to carry out its Christmas basket campaign. We firmly believe that by giving each family in need a Christmas basket filled with all kinds of food and goodies, we add a bit of Christmas magic to their lives. To stuff a few more stockings, we also give a brand new book to every child of age 12 or younger; these books are chosen considering the gender and age of the child.

To successfully organize such a Campaign, we need more volunteers than usual from October to December; volonteers fill baskets in the food bank, participate in fundraising and (non-perishable) food drives in many Laval supermarkets, or take part in wrapping gifts. If you would like to lend a hand in the Campaign, call or e-mail us!

 Emergency Food Service

In addition to redistributing food to 62 accredited organizations in the food bank every week, the CBML has created the Emergency Food Counter. Our goal is to go beyond a simple helping hand, so as to start supporting - or maintain our support for - beneficiaries, on the path of self-sufficiency and safe nutrition.

Beneficiaries (or users of the service) are accompanied by a volunteer, to better tailor to the needs of each person. This approach also lets people make their own food choices in accordance with the users' dignity, respect for people's cultural differences, and the hardship of dealing with limitations or needs that can depend on their level of health. A five (5) dollar contribution is required, and is totally reinvested in the purchase of certain food items such as milk and eggs.

The feedback of users and councellors from all fields is very positive. They say that this warm and human approach is a real catalyst for mutual respect. Thirty three (33) volunteers run the Emergency Food Counter every week.

 School Food Program

In 1997, the CBML food bank offered to supply two schools with food, after asking the Centre for help. After conducting a survey that included about 30 Laval schools, the Centre noticed that more than one third of these schools needed some help with food. We, at the CBML, were quite worried to know that hundreds of kids from underprivileged families were going to school with an empty stomach. To that end, in Septembre of 1998, the CBML created the School Food Program and initiated it in some elementary schools in Laval. According to the school population map drawn by the ministère de l'Éducation, every school has a certain level of poverty (of being underprivileged) from one to ten, with ten being the most underprivileged.

The School Food Program's system is versatile and easy to apply in schools, and food can be given at appropriate times in every classroom. This healthy and nutritious food is individually packaged, easy to store, and use. The CBML's goal here is not to remove parents' responsibilities, but to supply food for, on average, three (3) snacks every week to each student helped.

In Laval, a total of 36 schools and 3 600 children enjoy breakfast-snacks every week during the school year.