The Montreal Canadiens’ first participation in the Stanley Cup Final in 28 years will feed 3,200 homeless people with a vegetarian meal, through 15 Greater Montreal restaurants and a challenge launched over 91.9 FM airwaves.
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To understand that, let’s go back to April 2021, at the end of the Habs season. On 91.9 FM, host David Ettedgui anticipates the success of the Montreal Canadiens and challenges fellow and former Habs player, George Laraki, to give 50 chickens to those in need.
Vijani, a former hockey player, remade it his own way, choosing instead to donate vegetarian meals. “I said on air that I would eat a whole chicken if the Canadian made it to the Stanley Cup Final,” said the host, who showed up Saturday at Place Émilie-Gamelin for distribution.
Approximately 15 restaurants and eight establishments decided to participate in the result, which George Laraki is delighted with. “It is unbelievable. It has gone viral,” explained the person who would like to repeat such an event in the coming years.
Ghislan Dorion was among hundreds of people who waited quietly and at a good distance to get their meal and eat it at once. “I’m happy to eat,” he summed up, noting that the pandemic would not be easy for people in the same situation as him.
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In the scene while distributing meals, the mayor of Montreal, Valerie Plante, noted the exacerbation of homelessness on the capital’s streets due to the pandemic. “I really need the Quebec government, among others, to help the city provide the very necessary resources,” she said.
“If we want there to be no camp, people must have temporary resources that lead to permanent residence,” continued the person who actively monitors Milton Park, where many of the homeless reside. “We want them to feel safe,” she said.
Sam Watts, president and CEO of Mission Bon Accueil, the organization responsible for logistics, admitted he was affected by the organizations’ response. “It’s tremendous,” he said. “Honestly, I was touched.”
Meals that were not taken on Saturday will be distributed by various organizations over the next few days.
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