Afrique au Feminin fundraises $50,000 for local food bank

Avleen K Mokha

Afrique au Feminin employees and volunteers prepare food baskets with provincial representative Andres Fontecilla in late March.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Afrique au Feminin has been giving out free food baskets to Park Extension residents. To keep its effort going, the organization is raising money through a virtual fundraiser. This week, Afrique au Feminin passed the milestone of raising $50,000 in donations.

Nadia Koukoui, a volunteer at the food bank, began the fundraiser with her colleague Abe Caplan.

“The original post has been relayed organically by a lot of people and mostly via Instagram, even though we originally posted on Facebook, LinkedIn and email,” Koukoui said.

Companies such as Frank and Oak and Ubisoft count as the top donors.

Additionally, the CanadaHelps Black Solidarity Fund has donated a significant amount.

Donations from individuals have also helped Afrique au Feminin. According to Koukoui, McGill professor Daniel Pomerantz is another top donor.

Rose Ndjel (left), coordinator at AAF, distributing onion bags with Christine Paré (right).

Volunteers give out nearly three hundred baskets every Tuesday. Lines often start early morning, even though the food bank opens at noon. The queue often goes twice around the block.

Since the pandemic began, Afrique au Feminin has given out more than 3,000 baskets.

“The number of families in precarious situation just keeps increasing every week. If you are able to make a donation, big or small, it will go a long away.”

In addition to the food bank, Afrique au Feminin helps women who may be isolated, depressed, or victims of violence — especially women that are immigrants or low-income. During the COVID-19 crisis, the organization has moved to giving virtual support through online groups and a phone line.

Koukoui encourages people keep giving to the fundraiser, which is available here.

The Afrique au Feminin helpline is 514 272-3274.