Supporting food security in Québec City region

From: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Today while visiting Le Pignon Bleu, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced funding of $27,900 shared between ten organizations in the Québec City area. This funding was made available under the Food Policy for Canada’s Local Food Infrastructure Fund emergency funding, and distributed via partners at the Breakfast Club of Canada.

These organizations used funding to purchase food and other basic necessities, to buy or rent equipment and materials, transport and distribute food, access new distribution centres, hire temporary help to fill volunteer shortages, and to implement measures to protect their workers and volunteers.

Thanks to a Local Food Infrastructure Fund grant, Le Pignon Bleu was able to serve breakfast to ensure food security for children attending 21 day camps in the Quebec City area. The organization also distributes 8,000 snacks every day, in addition to providing breakfasts to children who do not have access to nutritious food. During the pandemic that forced the closure of schools, emergency assistance was used to deliver prepared meals and priority food items directly to families in precarious situations. Between 500 and 1,000 meals a day were delivered and more than 5,000 families benefited from this service. When classes resumed, regular deliveries resumed in partner schools, but meals continued to be delivered to families whose children had not returned to school.

The $100-million emergency funding was launched in March to help improve access to food for people experiencing food insecurity in Canada because of COVID-19. The funding was distributed to food banks and other national food rescue organizations who allocated it through their networks. To date, 1,856 individual projects in communities across Canada have received support under this emergency funding. The Breakfast Club of Canada is receiving $11.25 million through the emergency funding to support local food groups across the country.

In addition to this emergency funding, the Government launched the $50 million Surplus Food Rescue Program, which aims to move surplus food commodities through the food system as efficiently as possible to help vulnerable Canadians. $25 million has also been allocated to Nutrition North to ensure food security for Canada’s most vulnerable in northern areas.

Quotes

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been an especially difficult time for Canadians who were already struggling to access healthy, nutritious and affordable food prior to this crisis. This challenge has underlined the essential role played by organizations such as the Breakfast Club of Canada, Le Pignon Bleu and their partners to help ensure that children and people who are going through difficult times in Quebec and in Canada eat properly. With Canada’s Food Policy, we aim to ensure that every Canadian has access to fresh and nutritious foods, no matter where they live.”

– Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“The pandemic has exacerbated the food insecurity of many Quebecers, particularly in households with children. These organizations are just a few of the many local groups working hard in communities across the province. I congratulate them all for their excellent work.”

– Jean-Yves Duclos, Member of Parliament for Québec and President of the Treasury Board

“I am proud to support these local organizations who have been able to overcome significant challenges to ensure that all people have access to healthy food throughout this crisis.”

– Joël Lightbound, Member of Parliament for Louis-Hébert Quebec, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“In the early stages of the pandemic, we launched the Breakfast Club of Canada COVID-19 Emergency Grant Program. Our team understood we needed to pivot swiftly in order to reach a growing number of children and families facing food insecurity across Canada. I applaud the leadership of Minister Bibeau and her very supportive team at the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food, who worked closely with us to ensure we were properly utilized and able to be of service. As a result, we were able to ease the burden of insecurity on the shoulders of so many children and families, and replace it with hope and smiles.”

– Daniel Germain, President and Founder, Breakfast Club of Canada

“The federal government has already been a partner of Pignon Bleu for several years. This time, through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, it is helping to improve the quality of life of an entire community at a time when the emergency food assistance needs of the most vulnerable among us are more glaring than ever. We offer our sincere thanks and assurance that, by doing so, it is participating in a great chain of solidarity without which none of this would be possible.”

– Roseline Roussel, Executive Director, Pignon Bleu

Quick facts

  • The Local Food Infrastructure Fund emergency funding aims to improve access to food for Canadians facing social, economic, and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Le Pignon Bleu is a community organization whose mission is to contribute to the food security of children and families in Québec City, to support their development and to contribute to the training and work integration of unemployed people.

  • The funding highlighted today has been distributed to:

    • Le Pignon Bleu- La Maison pour grandir
    • Ressource espace familles (Solidarité Ste-Ursule)
    • Service de Référence en Périnatalité pour les Femmes Immigrantes de Québec (SRPFIQ)
    • La Butineuse de Vanier
    • Mères et monde
    • Centre Ressources Jardin de Familles
    • Centre de pédiatrie sociale de Lévis
    • Maison de la Famille Rive-Sud
    • Le Pivot
    • Service d’entraide de St-Rédempteur

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