Martin C. Barry
A Mobile Soup Kitchen outreach program to “extend a hand” to less fortunate families and homeless individuals in certain areas of Laval this winter was recently launched by Vimy Liberal MP Eva Nassif in conjunction with the Constituency Youth Council (CYC) in her riding.
Called “Extend a hand to the less fortunate,” the project was specifically designed to help address poverty and homelessness problems in Laval, Nassif and representatives of the CYC said during a launch held at her riding office on Dec. 7.
A fair chance
“Together,we can achieve our vision of a Canada where everyone has a real and fair chance to achieve their full potential,” said Nassif. “This is something important during this cold time of year, winter, when there are many people who are alone and poor and in some cases homeless, without even a roof over their heads or abed to sleep in. Many are also hungry.
“This is something that won’t solve all the problems in Vimy, but it will at least raise awareness among people,” she continued. “Together, we will make Canada a world leader in eradicating poverty. With the vision of our government, we take further steps to recognize and progressively implement every Canadian’s rights to access adequate and affordable housing and to eliminate housing need. The involvement of our Constituency Youth Council makes me very proud.”
On the front line
Regarded by its creators as somewhat different from traditional soup kitchens, the Mobile Soup Kitchen will take the food to areas where young kids, homeless persons, abused women, less fortunate families, drug addicts and alcoholics congregate, in order to fight hunger on the front line.
As they noted, too many Canadians are still struggling to make ends meet, while having to make impossible choices between a roof over their heads or making sure their children don’t go to bed without eating.
‘Time for action’
Saying that “the time for action is now,” Vimy CYC president Iswariya Tirunagaru and Vimy CYC vice-president Sarah Ghannoumsaid this is why they are proud to launch the “Extend a hand to the less fortunate” project, for a concerted, coordinated fight against poverty on multiple fronts, making sure that, wherever you live or wherever you come from,you have a real and fair chance at success.
They said the project’s goal is to spread awareness, to ensure a continued commitment to reduce poverty and to keep up the struggle well into the future.Once a week, the CYC volunteers and the Mobile Soup Kitchen will bring a little help during the cold season, by visiting shelters and other locations and by serving hot soup, sandwiches, fruits, muffins and coffee. Moreover, hats,gloves and blankets will also be provided when needed.
Until next March
The project is taking place from Dec. 13 to next March 7. The Mobile Soup Kitchen will be operating on Dec. 13, 20 and 27, Jan. 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31, Feb. 7, 14,21 and 28 and on March 7. The dates and locations will also be announced in local newspapers, on Nassif’s website and on her social media accounts. All products used in the project are being donated by sponsors with the help of non-profit partners.
Ina statement, Nassif said the CYC is an opportunity for youth to learn about Canada’s political process, discuss their viewpoints on issues, and most importantly, get involved in their communities. Projects undertaken by past CYCs have ranged from food drives to multimedia projects.
Making a positive impact
According to Nassif, this year’s council will have the chance to build on the discussions and embark on projects that will positively impact the community. She said that giving youth a voice is important to the Liberal government, while adding that a youth perspective brings a new light to issues touching the community and the country.
“The CYC in Vimy is working hard to be the youth voice for our community,” said Nassif. “And as Member of Parliament, I intend to bring this perspective with me, upon my return to Ottawa.”