The day started very well with the arrival of several trucks. These were distributed throughout the city so that the 150 “guignoleux” teams could begin their journey at around 10 am. But, above all, training was offered to truck drivers responsible for waiting for volunteers who collected food from door to door.
Non-perishable items were constantly arriving at the organization’s facilities, located on Matton Street, in the afternoon. In the large warehouse, dozens of volunteers were busy sorting them and putting them into boxes. An impressive manifestation of generosity and coordination ensured in particular by Éric Vachon.
“We have overcome some small setbacks, but things are going very well in terms of organization. It’s festive! Every year, we invite volunteers to do a little dance before screening.”
– Éric Vachon, director of the food aid and technical support service.
According to their estimates, around 1,200 people dedicated themselves to the cause, whether in road transport, collecting or sorting food. In the screening line alone, around a hundred volunteers gave their time.
“How does it feel to see all these people? Well, thanks. Seeing that people support us year after year is a beautiful feeling that comes over us. Without citizens we would not be able to fulfill our mission”, added the director and coordinator.
After boxing, the donations were stored for distribution to people in need. It should be noted that the monetary donations collected during the large collection allowed the purchase of perishable food items (meat, dairy products, etc.) and, sometimes, essential non-perishable food items.
îEach sorting table had its specialty. A group of volunteers took care of the tomato canes, others took care of the canned juices. A process that facilitated storage for distribution.
The atmosphere was festive, as the The Voice of the East, and the place looked like a little anthill. Everyone did their part with good humor. To complete the already colorful atmosphere, the band’s music Earth, Wind and Fire resounded at full volume.
“I availed the organization’s services once. And now, I’m happy to engage with families and people in need who are going through a similar situation. I have three children and they lack nothing. It is a great pleasure to give to the community”, confided Anna Gauthier, a volunteer involved in collecting food for seven years.
A long-standing involvement. Previously, her mother worked hours in Saint-Alphonse-de-Granby. Her mission: to offer a dose of affection to less privileged people in anticipation of the end of year festivities.
“I accumulate reward points and do a grocery store every year for vulnerable people,” the nice lady added.
Very close to her, her partner Stéphane Dumais: “I completely agree! We have a good life and it’s important to get involved in the community.”
Age doesn’t matter when it comes to dedicating yourself to a noble cause. A student at l’Envolée secondary school, Alexis Desgranges was there as part of a school initiative. A “very busy but very fun day”, he said, with a smile on his face.
The organization launched an increased appeal for the population’s generosity in a period marked by inflation, the housing crisis and high mortgage rates.
This Sunday, it was still too early to reveal the results of the collection. However, the objectives were commensurate with significant demand. If last year 73.5 metric tons of food and 425 thousand dollars were collected, the target this year was 80 tons of food and 450 thousand dollars.
The results of the food drive will come. However, it is still possible to make a monetary donation in the SOS Dépannage website.
An improvised childcare service
The teachers’ strike affects many people in Granby. Especially those who have to juggle work and parenthood while schools are currently closed as part of the the unlimited general strike of the Autonomous Education Federation (FAE).
To respond to the concerns of its employees, the organization SOS Dépannage Moisson Granby offers a daycare service on its premises. The measure allows employees to work instead of staying home to care for their children.
“By offering this alternative, it allows us to maintain our workforce. And this allows employees not to deprive themselves of their salary”
– Eric Vachon
In the organization, a room accommodates employees’ children. Amenities include toys, a game console and an interactive whiteboard. In particular, film screenings are organized.
She is a 16-year-old high school student who supervises the young children. The latter, affected by the strike, is the daughter of the general director of SOS Dépannage, Patrick St-Denis.