Andres Fontecilla honors those working to fight hunger in Park Ex

Andres Fontecilla pays tribute to volunteers who have been working “day and night” to help those in need in Park Extension in public statement this past week

To say that there are a serious number of organizations in our community that not only stepped up during the Covid-19 pandemic, being there for its community in terms of donations of all kinds—even handing out masks—would be a serious and unjust understatement. It was as I covered event after event for the paper over the course of the summer and early fall that I realized just how much the members of the community were willing to help one another out, and it seems that many of the representatives in the borough have noticed all of the efforts of one and all, particularly Mr. Andres Fontecilla, representative at The National Assemble of Quebec.

He took to mentioning this in a public address and many on social media and many in the community, felt it was refreshing and astounding to see.

The various groups and/or organizations in our community

There are indeed so many organizations willing to help and donate food to those in need in this community and we were there this summer to be witness to such events and displays of what a community giving back is all about …

Sarker Hope Foundation

We have written about The Sarker Hope foundation many times over the years and really, there is certainly a lot to write about, as the organization has given in all facets to the community.


It was just this summer that I visited a PEYO food and supplies drive held in the William Hingston parking lot, where City Councilor Mary Deros was present, handing out free masks as she always does, and handing out packages of food and/or produce that the community picked up on appointment. On that day, they were also handing out school supplies for those children and their parents that couldn’t afford them.

It was actually one of my first assignments with the paper where I met City Councilor Mary Deros; it was at one of the weekly food drives, and I interviewed some of those that had turned up for the food and a man told me: “There’s no work, my family needs food.” And at the day, the call is perhaps as simple as just that, and the call has obviously been answered by many in the community.

The Hellenic Community of Greater Montréal was there on hand to help, as they always have, and speaking of this organization, they also organize food drives at Maison Ogilvy; it’s held every Friday, with Denis Zervos at the helm, as we reported just a few weeks back—yet another volunteer.

PEX Helping Hands

And this is still a young organization, but not at all insignificant as they have already passed their 30th consecutive meal distribution, volunteers again giving of their own free time and local businesses selling food and supplying produce paid for by donors across the neighborhood and beyond—the soon to be official organization helmed by community member Abdul Waheed.

A proverbial pat on the back

And it was this past week that Mr. Fontecilla addressed all of these people and organizations, particularly the volunteers that give of their time and sometimes money in order to help the members of the community that are clearly facing terrible times.

And it is perhaps this that is the most refreshing, as sometimes, that proverbial pat on the back from an elected official is just enough to inspire more of the same old … more of that willingness to help those less-fortunate.

He spoke of underlining the importance of those in Park Extension and Villeray who took (and take) the time out of their schedules to either walk with someone who is alone, or to distribute warm food to those that were in so much need of it.

On his post on social media, where he posted the video of his address, he stated: “One in four adults had difficulty feeding during the first wave. During the first wave in Quebec, one in 4 adults had difficulty feeding themselves and their families. One in 4 adults. In Villeray and Park Extension, like everywhere else in Quebec, generous volunteers work day and night to meet a very sad demand: hunger. I wanted to pay tribute to them this morning.”