With Christmas less than two days away, Le Pignon Bleu donated $200,000 worth of food and gifts to 200 families in Quebec on Saturday, giving them peace of mind for the coming weeks.
A few hundred other families will have to be helped in other ways, due to a lack of resources in the face of excessive demand.
“Unfortunately, we received more than 500 applications this year. We have made a heartbreaking decision not to reduce the baskets and support our usual 200 families,” says Roslyn Rosell, the organization's general director for Operation Christmas Baskets.
She also points out that this is a “significant increase” of about 35% compared to last year, when nearly a hundred people had to find another solution.
“The greatest gift I could ever receive.”
Although the current period is very difficult for many, Christine Tremblay was smiling from ear to ear when she saw Pascal Paradis, Jean-Talon MP, delivering her Christmas basket.
“It's truly a beautiful day. I'll have peace of mind this holiday season, and we won't have to wonder what we'll have for dinner in the coming weeks. It's really the best gift I could have,” says Christine Tremblay, accompanied by her son Olivier.
“We're really grateful because everything costs more. In November I moved into a rental that cost me an extra $400 a month, but I had no choice because that's all that's left, so with the grocery store also going up, the end of the month isn't easy,” she added. “.
An alarming situation
While inflation and high interest rates have pushed many people below the poverty line recently, forcing them to turn to support organizations to survive, Roslyn Roussel explains that Le Pignon Bleu is deeply concerned about the situation.
“Right now, I would say more than 50% of the people asking for our help are workers working 40 hours a week for lower wages who simply can't do it anymore,” she explains.
The Director-General of the organization adds: “Food prices have risen significantly, and it is very worrying to know that working families are demanding our support more and more.”
“There are structural issues in our economy that we really need to work on. At a time when there are more and more super-rich and super-profitable people, there are also more and more people in vulnerable situations and people with jobs who are struggling to fill their fridge,” MP Pascal Paradis commented, He has been a loyal volunteer for Operation Pignon Bleu Christmas Baskets for several years, saying: “It just doesn't make sense.”
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