Nutrition for the soul served up at Empty Bowls


By Rhonda Massad

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The Bread Basket, a non profit organization based in Pointe Claire, runs food security initiatives to empower people to feed themselves and their families. For the first time, on April 18, the Bread Basket hosted an Empty Bowls fundraiser event to help expand their programming to vulnerable citizens in the south of the West Island, especially those living below the poverty line. The event raised more than $7,000.

The Pointe Claire church, St. Columba, was packed with supporters at $25 a head at both lunch and dinner servings.  Each participant received a warm bowl of soup in a hand crafted pottery bowl donated by local crafters. Fresh bread was served and live Irish tunes played.

The spirit of giving was alive when local business owner, Steph Tanguay, stepped up to the plate to donate tickets to a couple who could not afford to attend the event.

“I did not realize there was food security issues on the West Island,” Concept 72 owner stated in an interview with The Suburban, “ When I think of growing up on the West Island poverty is not one of the things that comes to mind.  When I heard from a friend that people were unable to attend the event due to financial restrictions, I thought this was a very obvious way to give back.”

According to executive director of the Bread Basket, Lucy Baum, the funds raised will go to much needed expansion of the programs hosted each week.

Bread Basket Lac-St-Louis runs food and kitchen education programs in four locations on the West Island at a cost of $2.00 participation fee on Friday mornings. A qualified dietician leads participants in creating up to three nutritional and budget-conscious meals. They plan for an additional portions of each meal to take home.

“Learning how to cook with the right items is an important part of what we teach,”  Baum told The Suburban in an interview. “ We help people understand how to stretch their food dollar in order to be able to cook a budget healthy meal for the entire family.”

“Most of our customers come to us because they are struggling with food security.” Baum said. “They come to us because they can get a good meal and take left overs home with them.  Often it is also a chance to break isolation.”

To combat the problem of food insecurity, the Bread Basket works collaboratively and in partnership with municipalities, community organizations and the business community to reach those in need and to foster innovative and effective solutions.

Information on The Bread Basket can be found at