Food for cultural integration

Food for cultural integration

Cuisines et vie collectives Saint-Roch, Parc-Extension, Montreal

Known as Little Greece in former days, Montreal’s Parc Extension neighborhood today is a cultural mosaic that includes large indian, sri lankan, bangladeshi and pakistani communities.

Into the mix add the fact that it is one of Montreal’s most densely populated neighborhoods, and notably also one of the poorest in all of Canada, and clearly life it can be a challenge for those who call this neighborhood home. Fortunately, Cuisines et vie collectives Saint-Roch is there to help with innovative food security and social programs that also promote social integration.

For almost 25 years Cuisines et vie collectives Saint-Roch has been improving the lives of families in Parc Extension by providing a network of social support as well as a variety of initiatives that promote food security and self-sufficiency.

“With such a large immigrant population from more than one hundred countries, you could say that our neighborhood is practically overflowing with multiculturalism. Our goal is to help them integrate into a new way of life and introduce them to Quebec society. Communication can be a bit of a challenge sometimes (laughs), but we always find a way”, says organization director Gloria Fernandes.

Among the services they offer, Cuisines et vie collectives Saint-Roch coordinates a number of community kitchens, workshops, courses, training and info sessions as well as social activities. Thanks to support from the LÉGER FOUNDATION the organization has been able to offer even more programs meet the diverse needs of the neighborhood.

“Assistance from the LÉGER FOUNDATION means a lot. From an organizational stand point they have helped us develop and implement better management strategies, and financially we have been able to improve our food programs and offer even more services to families”, says Gloria Fernandes.

The results are overwhelmingly positive, with an increased number of programs and services on offer for new immigrants that promote food security and cultural integration, more families fed by community kitchens, shorter waiting lists, and increased overall participation. A support network has also been set up between participants to encourage an even greater sense of community between those who call Parc Extension home.

This article is from the march 2017 edition of the IN QUEBEC newsletter. To read the full version of the newsletter and discover all the documents published by the LÉGER FOUNDATION this year, visit the Publications section of our website.

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