Today, we present a special year-end message from Pier and the team to highlight the work of the Roulant community as a frontline service, after a record-breaking 2021 that continued to show us how great the need remains.
Between Gratitude and Concern
Laura, Mike, Floriane, and Charlie make up the administrative team of the Meals-on-Wheels. They are the most familiar voices to clients. Every day, all four of them receive calls of gratitude. But just as often, they receive calls of concern. One day, a daunting weather forecast threatens the meal deliveries. Another day, a client’s memory is playing tricks on them — they don’t remember if they’ve placed their orders for the week.
Worried callers also come in the form of health care professionals, desperate to find quick food solutions for their patients. In Montreal, there are an astonishing 714 287 requests for food assistance every month (updated figure released Dec. 2021).
These moments punctuate our days and remind us daily that the Meals-on-Wheels is not an optional food service. The people on the receiving end have no alternative and the stakes are high: an undelivered meal spells hunger and stress.
The Power of Flowers and 33,950 Much-Needed Meals
This year, more than ever, we have been able to draw a direct line from the gardens to the doorsteps of Montrealers. Volunteers, youth and seniors cultivated fresh bouquets that were delivered alongside the meal of the day; we introduced four festive seasonal recipes that featured edible flower varieties; and we continued to integrate organic vegetables from the urban gardens and the Ferme du Roulant in Senneville into meals. The dignity of individuals is at the heart of what we do when we pour as much attention into quality as we do quantity.
But what remains crucial is to never miss a delivery. No matter how varied or nutritious, the record 33,950 meals that Santropol Roulant distributed throughout the community in 2021 (figure updated Dec. 2021) were absolutely essential.
$6 a Meal, No More
87.5% of food service recipients in Quebec are without employment income. However, food prices and the costs associated with health measures are increasing much faster than social assistance. We do not want to increase the price of meals at Santropol Roulant, still only $6 per meal, in 2022. We want to continue to provide free frozen meals and fresh produce to the most marginalized people in our community, including Montreal’s urban indigenous population and their families, through our partner organizations.
These measures cannot be maintained without your support. Food services still make up more than half of the Roulant’s annual costs. You can help us raise the increased revenue required so that we can continue to be the inspiring and innovative organization you are proud to be part of. Your implication enables us to quickly implement solutions to reach Montrealers most affected by food insecurity.
Thank you for joining us on the frontlines.
With all our affection,
Pier and the entire Roulant team