Local food security non-profit distributes 800 spring baskets in Sherbrooke

By Michael Boriero - Local Journalism Initiative
Local food security non-profit distributes 800 spring baskets in Sherbrooke
Saint-François MNA Geneviève Hébert was among the volunteers distributing food baskets over the weekend. (Photo : Gaston Stratford )

Volunteers at the Fondation Rock-Guertin spent most of Saturday handing out boxes filled with perishable and non-perishable food items to households in need as part of the non-profit organization’s annual spring basket campaign.

According to Rock-Guertin’s Development and Communications Director Stephanie Blanchard, it was a special year because the organization opened the campaign to the general public for the very first time. They normally work solely with local organizations and social workers.

Blanchard told The Record that after posting an online form on their website, they received 800 spring basket requests, nearly doubling the amount of requests they typically receive in any given year. She said it has to do with the fact that they gave the campaign a wider scope.

There are people who live alone, couples, families, and seniors that made requests this year, Blanchard explained, adding it mostly works on the honour system. Volunteers will double-check addresses to see if anyone is skirting the system. But it’s mainly a lot of blind trust.

“We ask for pieces of identity and an explanation of their situation. We’re also not the police. We’re not going into their homes to see if they’re telling the truth, otherwise we’d never get this done. We made the choice to have hope in humanity and confidence in people,” she said.

And unlike other years, the organization isn’t going door-to-door, or spending too much time interacting with Sherbrooke residents due to ongoing health and safety measures. Blanchard described it as a conveyor belt with volunteers inside and outside working in unison.
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