The Legault government announced Thursday that it was releasing an additional $8 million to help food banks, which are crumbling under record demand as the holiday break approaches.
“We are in an emergency situation,” declared the Minister responsible for Social Solidarity, Chantal Rouleau.
These new funds will make it possible to purchase food which will then be distributed to the 1,200 food counters in Quebec.
During the last economic update, the Legault government granted them $10 million, but this was not considered sufficient by the Food Banks of Quebec network.
The organization currently helps 872,000 people, i.e. 30% more than in 2022 and 73% more than the number of people helped in 2019.
“With this money, we will be able to make purchases to ensure that members in all regions have food until next spring,” reacted its general director, Martin Munger.
“This will allow us to respond to the historic increase in traffic that our network is experiencing, to better plan purchases and avoid empty shelves. »
Even more demands due to the strike
According to Minister Rouleau, the decision to provide this assistance now was notably motivated by the impacts of the strike in the public sector. Closing schools, she said, “puts even more pressure on food banks.”
During the economic update in November, the government granted $11 million to organizations that provide food to children at school, such as the Breakfast Club and the Olo Foundation. Foods to which they no longer have access because of the labor conflict.
Mme Rouleau also recognized that the aid announced Thursday did not constitute a “long-lasting” solution to the new needs for food aid. She has committed to submitting a more comprehensive plan in her anti-poverty plan, which is due to be presented in spring 2024.