Dozens of staff from Sanofi’s Laval headquarters took turns taking a day off to help Moisson Laval provide for the city’s neediest residents during the holiday period.
The pharmaceutical firm’s 350 employees collected more than 100 kilos of foods for this year’s Christmas drive.
“Its part of our overall desire to be good members of the community, since our mission is to bring hope to Canadians,” spokeswoman Joanne Kennedy told The Suburban in an interview. “We do that through our medicines, but we also engage in other activities in life.”
Sanofi also contributes medications to help people in impoverished countries, through Health Partners International.
Kathleen Gagnon, executive director of the Laval volunteer bureau and food bank, credited the contribution of companies like Sanofi for having helped her charity meet its ever-increasing goals during the past 28 years.
“On Dec. 23, 400 volunteers will deliver baskets to some 1,800 Laval families,” she said. “That’s more than 6,000 boxes, because we provide enough food to supply a family for the whole week from Christmas to New Year. It includes a turkey and everything that they need to have a nice Christmas.”
“The need has increased since last year, when we delivered 1,600 baskets,” Gagnon noted. “In addition to the 200 people whom we serve at our food counter, that is more than 2,000 Laval families whom we will serve this year.”
“There have been lots of layoffs, and there are many single-parent families in Laval, as well as people who work for minimum wage who can’t really make ends meet by the end of the month.”
Gagnon reminded donors that Moisson Laval provides for the city’s hungry, year-round.
“We always need food, not just for Christmas, but particularly in January, February and March,” she added. “We ask people to be generous, and they are.”
“I’m sure that the families are going to be thankful for the baskets that they will receive on Sunday, as well as the new books that children under 12 will receive.”
“We used to have to pay for the books, but we now receive enough donations from publishing houses and the firms that provide the food that we can supply more than 2,000 kids with books.”
“Without those donors, we would never be able to provide this service,” Gagnon concluded.
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