On this episode, we welcome Meet the Need Montreal Co-Founders from McGill University to speak about their initiative tackling the food insecurity crisis. Seeing the urgent need for help within the community, as their name suggests, Meet the Need Montreal stepped up to help alleviate the pressing demands on food banks by filling the gaps where help was and is needed most. This group of students are always finding ways to help “Meet the Need” by reaching out to very multicultural “in need” communities.. For more information about Meet the Need Montreal visit their website: https://meettheneedmtl.com/
“Food justice is an important part of community justice. We take donations from local businesses and use them to fight hunger. Help us connect with donors and with people in need.”– Meet the Need Montreal
“Having learnt about the social determinants of health from early in their medical curriculum, Meet the Need Montreal, stepped up to serve the local community. Whether it is through donations or tackling the food crisis one meal at a time, it is certain that this student-led initiative seeks to go above and beyond to literally “meet the need” wherever help, is needed most.”– Peer Med Podcast
“We are a group of first-year medical students at McGill. We had the collective interest to target ongoing issues within our community! We wanted to find a way to help those around us.
Our mission is to help fill the rising gap within food banks and shelters by supplying non-perishable foods and monetary donations!”– Meet the Need Montreal
Natasha Barone is a co-founder of Meet the Need MTL initiative. She is a first-year medical student at McGill University. She previously completed a B.Sc. and M.Sc. in the department of Microbiology and Immunology. She also worked as a customer service representative where she attained business acumen. Moreover, she worked as a special need’s sports program manager at a non-profit establishment for over a year where she led a team of coaches, budgeted funds for the programs and developed collaborations with colleges to provide children with an outlet to have fun and explore programs in gymnastics and cheerleading. Recently, she became the co-president of Academic Immersion in Medicine (AIM), a student lead initiative which aims to immerse high-school students from underprivileged areas in a realistic acute care simulation. With the desire to continue aiding the community, she decided to partner with other students to develop Meet the Need MTL to help fight food insecurity and provide relief to food banks during these hard times.
Tharaniya Vallipuram is a co-founder of Meet the Need MTL initiative. She completed her bachelor’s in nursing at McGill, after which she worked on both a medical unit followed by the intensive care unit. She then began her medical curriculum at McGill. She has a passion for community initiatives and has led many such as an educational health fair for students and prior collaborations with Dans la Rue. Her love for public and global health had motivated her to join IFMSA as the public health officer, the CFMS and join several other ventures to work with and for the community. Given the unprecedented changes inflicted upon the community by COVID19, she partnered up with her classmates to build this initiative which aligned perfectly with her interests.
Diana Benea is a co-founder of the initiative. She is a first-year medical student at McGill University and completed the Med-P program. Passionate about public health and wanting to make a difference in the community, she is a co-founder of MSS Diverging Minds, a club aiming to raise awareness about neurodiversity. She also partakes in several public health and global health initiatives as part of her role of local officer in the IFMSA and standing on a CFMS committee. Seeing how the pandemic’s financial repercussions posed an increasing stress on local food banks, she was determined to team up with her peers to garner community support and help alleviate that strain.
“As Montreal battles with the pandemic, Meet the Need Montreal, is a student-led initiative that has stood up to help communities. It is clear that food insecurity is an unfortunate reality among children, senior citizens and adults but that it Is also a very solvable problem. Their number 1 priority is providing food, and aiding members at large so Montreal communities may continue staying healthy”– Peer Med podcast
For More from Meet the Need Montreal or to volunteer check out their website.