MONTREAL, June 5th, 2019 — Quebec cabinet ministers Danielle McCann, Lionel Carment and Margeurite Blais select the Depot’s Healthy Food Policy as their “Coup de coeur” at the MSSS Prix d’excellence
At a ceremony last Friday, ministers Danielle McCann, Lionel Carment and Marguerite Blais selected The Depot Community Food Centre’s innovative Healthy Food Policy for the Coup de coeur prize, awarded to the most outstanding project among all entries to the Quebec Health and Social Service Ministry’s annual Prix d’excellence.
“The exceptional people whose work we honour today have demonstrated that it is possible to improve participant experience through more accessible, more efficient and more human care and services,” said Danielle McCann, Minister of Health and Social Services, in a statement. “Not only do they honour their profession, but they also embody the dynamism and creativity of the broader health and social services network. It is our great honour to recognize them with this well-deserved award.”
The Healthy Food Policy was honoured for its impact on The Depot Community Food Centre, formerly the NDG Food Depot, and on the community as a whole. The comprehensive policy outlines guidelines for the food the organization distributes, purchases, and accepts as donations. The results have been transformational:
- Last year the Depot purchased over $230,000 worth of fresh and healthy food, a 300% increase from 2014, to distribute to the community through 20 healthy food programs
- 88% of Depot participants report that The Depot provides them with an important source of fruits & vegetables.
- More than 3 out of 4 Depot participants have tried new foods via The Depot’s programs.
- 58% of participants indicate that participation in The Depot’s healthy food programs has helped them manage a health condition.
“This award is a great honour for the Depot and our community,” said Daniel Rotman, The Depot’s Executive Director. “The fact that a former food bank was recognized for its positive impacts on community health is remarkable. This represents a validation of our efforts to ensure that everyone, regardless of their financial situation, has access to fresh and healthy food in a dignified and respectful manner.”
People living in situations of poverty have much worse health outcomes than their more financially secure counterparts.
“We believe access to healthy food is a universal human right,” continued Mr. Rotman. “We’re increasingly finding that differences in health outcomes and life expectancies between people living on low incomes and their middle class counterparts are due, in large part, to the foods people consume. As an organization that works towards food security in our community, we have a responsibility to provide healthy options across all our programs.”
The Depot’s Healthy Food Policy is a culmination of five years of work transforming the organization from a traditional food bank to a full-fledged Community Food Centre with over 20 healthy programs that range from gardening to markets to cooking classes. The policy was built with and for Depot participants, who indicated that the price of fresh and healthy foods was their biggest barrier to adequate nutrition.
In NDG alone, 25% of residents live below the poverty line, including one in three children. And the problem is growing; The Depot has seen a 31% increase in requests for emergency food baskets since 2016. Over 6,000 people participated in The Depot’s programs last year, and nearly 30,000 healthy meals were prepared and served.
About The Depot
The Depot Community Food Centre, formerly the NDG Food Depot, is a community-based non-profit organization founded in 1986 that works collaboratively with other community partners to address issues of food security in NDG and the surrounding areas via its more than 20 healthy food programs.
The Depot will be holding its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, June 19th at 6450 Somerled. A light meal will be served at 6pm and the meeting begins at 7pm. All members of the community are welcome.
The Depot Community Food Centre
514 483 4680 x 207
Marie-Claude Lacasse & Noémie Vanheuverzwijn
Media Relations Managers, Ministère de la santé et des services sociaux
418 266 8914