Montreal hospital offers free hot meals as food banks struggle

Montreal's Notre-Dame hospital is providing free hot meals to about 800 people. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada - image credit)
Montreal's Notre-Dame hospital is providing free hot meals to about 800 people. (Ivanoh Demers/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Montreal's Notre-Dame Hospital is opening up its cafeteria to give families new to Canada and people experiencing homelessness free hot meals.

The initiative is a way to build relationships with those facing financial hardship with the goal of identifying, caring for and supporting them as they might not know where to find other services or refuse help.

Food banks in the city are also struggling to meet the needs of an ever growing clientele. This year, food bank use was up 15 per cent from 2021, and 35 per cent since 2019.

"We have a lot of difficulty dealing with high levels of demand like that," said Martin Munger, general manager of Food Banks of Quebec.

He said in the past organizations managed to meet the demand thanks to donors, but it is increasingly difficult to get enough of them.

The Notre-Dame Hospital is currently providing meals for about 800 people and other facilities like Verdun Hospital may soon follow suit.