Greek food bank gears up for first holiday season

“37% of our clients are children”

Eleni Fakotakis-Kolaitis

By Robert Frank

Laval’s new food bank at Holy Cross Church is looking for donations as it gets ready for its first Christmas giving season.

“At this time of year, what we give is more festive. A lot more,” Hellenic Social Services of Quebec (HSSQ) director Eleni Fakotakis-Kolaitis told The Suburban.

“This is the first Christmas that we’re doing Christmas in Laval,” she said, “because our food bank started during 2014.”

As a result, some 80 Laval families will, for the first time, receive a Christmas basket from the Laval Greek food bank.

Poverty hits young harder here

More than a third of the recipients are young. The face of Laval poverty is very different from in Montreal, HSSQ discovered. More than double live in single-parent families. Another 8 per cent are elderly or intellectually challenged.

“37% of our food bank clients are children and 50 per cent live in poverty and are isolated,” Fakotakis-Kolaitis related. “31 per cent of our Laval clients are single-parent families, compared to just 15 in Montreal.”

“The largest age group that we serve in Laval is 31-44 years,” she added. “In Montreal it’s 45-64.”

One of the drivers is the high cost of housing in Montreal, which pushes poverty off the island.

HSSQ is appealing to individuals, companies and students to donate. Those who give $20 or more will receive a tax receipt.

“Our weekly food distribution permits us to provide richer quality so the families can receive healthy fresh produce like milk, poultry and eggs,” Fakotakis-Kolaitis explained.

Holy Cross Church at 4865 Souvenir in Chomedey, is also gathering toys to distribute to families with children.

“There’s a collection box there,” she said.

More information is available by contacting Chryssa Beletsiotis at or phoning her at [450] 688-2088.
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