Accueil Kateri Centre receives financial support to continue feeding families in Ste. Anne –


A surprise donation was made during the annual general meeting of the Accueil Kateri Centre in Ste. Anne.

Lions Club International is dedicated to combating food insecurity and hunger.

Chris Barnard, a former resident of Ste. Anne who is now with the Riverside Lions Club in Winnipeg, attended the meeting.

Barnard presented a cheque for $650 on behalf of the Lions Clubs of Manitoba, Minnesota and Northwestern Ontario to assist in replacing one of the food bank's aging freezers.

Images of eggs, meat and milk on a slide projected onto a screen in the church.Accueil Kateri Centre shows how much money was spent on certain food items in the past financial year.

“There are always people in need, there are always people who need help,” Barnard says. “It's so good to have a group of people like this who are willing to help, and if we can support them in any way, then that's our piece of the pie.”

At the beginning of May, SteinbachOnline reported on the poor condition of some of the food bank's freezers. Shortly thereafter, a couple from the southeast purchased a brand new freezer for the food bank. And now, with this donation from the Lions Club, the two oldest freezers are being replaced with new units.

“We need to have a lot of freezers,” explains Aurele Boisvert, president of the Accueil Kateri Centre, “because sometimes we get a call from a butcher or a large store and they have meat that they want to get rid of but they don't have space for it, and they need to do it immediately. It's not going to happen in a week. So we need to have freezers ready because we need to freeze the meat immediately.”

Aurele Boisvert.Aurele Boisvert shares her plan to improve the nutrition of infants and young children.

Boisvert also thanked Clearview Co-op for its continued support in ensuring the food bank has a building in which to operate.

Geoff Dilts, Operations Manager at Clearview Co-op, attended the Annual General Meeting.

“To hear what they do specifically for the kids is just… wow. I can't say enough about an organization that takes such good care of the children in the community,” Dilts says. “And to hear what they do specifically at Christmas to make sure every child gets a gift for Christmas, I think it's amazing.”

Clearview Co-op General Manager Martin Trudeau was also present and acknowledged the detailed report on the work of the Accueil Kateri Centre.

“The statistics that were shown tonight show that the majority of the help goes to children. As a society, we owe it to the little ones to look after them. You know, it's heartbreaking to see the children who don't have what they should have. Everyone should have something to eat. It's not a luxury, it's a necessity. So if we can all help together and join forces to make that happen, I think that's wonderful.”

A slide showing statistics on the number of children fed through the food basket program.The food basket program supports 341 people, 156 of whom are children under 17 years of age.

At the meeting, the board shared some numbers, noting that $95,000 was spent on food last fiscal year, $20,000 more than budgeted.

Boisvert says they were able to handle the increase in food costs because they received some unexpected, one-time donations.

He says the continued generosity of the public and business community motivates the board and 40 volunteers to continue working hard to alleviate the suffering of people in the city and rural community of Ste. Anne.