• John Jantak

Food shortage prompts L’Actuel to appeal for donations


The Centre d’action bénévole L’Actuel in Vaudreuil-Dorion is appealing to the public for donations of food and personal hygiene products to help keep its shelves well stocked throughout the summer and into the fall. It currently only has enough supplies to last until the end of July.

The Centre d’action bénévole L’Actuel social services organization is appealing to the public for food donations. An unusually high demand this year from people in need within the region has prompted the centre to ask for the public’s help to keep its food shelves well stocked.

Stéphanie Aubert, Acting Head of Individual Services for the multi-faceted non-profit organization, said this year’s demand for food assistance has outpaced its current supply. Unless it receives more donations, its food shelves could be exhausted by the end of the month.

“Usually our stock lasts until October but this year it will only last until the end of July,” Aubert told The Journal.

Low period for food donations

L’Actuel receives the bulk of its food supply from late November and into December each year during the Christmas holiday period when the food basket drives are in full swing.

“During Christmas people are very generous by giving us lots of food. But for the rest of the year we don’t have the same amount of donations,” said Aubert.

One of the reasons for the increased demand could be because more people are moving into the region that L’Actuel serves which includes Vaudreuil-Dorion, L’Île-Perrot, Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot, Pincourt, Terrasse-Vaudreuil, Vaudreuil-sur-la-Lac with some requests from Hudson which also has its own small food bank Le Pont/Bridging.

Job losses and other personal situations

Since January, L’Actuel has given out about 335 food baskets.

“We meet with everybody who asks us for help,” said Aubert. “We have an interventionist who meets with them to assess their situation. Right now we have a lot of people who have experienced job loss so they need to wait around one month before they receive their unemployment benefits.”

The organization is also receiving more requests from people over the age of 65.

“This is becoming a problem because in the last three years, 24 per cent of L’Actuel’s requests for food assistance have come from senior citizens,” said Aubert.

L’Actuel also helps people who are ill. “There are some people who have had cancer in the past two years and because of their treatment they also need assistance,” Aubert added.


Personal hygiene items also welcome

In addition to non-perishable food items like pasta and canned items, the non-profit organization also requires personal hygiene products like soap, deodorant and tooth brushes.

“People can come to L’Actuel to bring us these items. We prefer this to money because it’s easier for us to put these things into our baskets,” said Aubert.

People who have food and non-perishable items t