Generations Foundation: Alleviating child poverty from the basement up

Loyal Generations Foundation supporters: Mary Ancliffe and Fred Griffith with Adrian Bercovici (centre).

In 1999, Generations became a beacon of hope when it responded to a request from St. Gabriel Elementary School’s principal to provide hot meals for his hungry students. Concerned supporters gathered to devise a solution, and Generations Foundation was born. We developed the organization from our basement and Adrian and I were “hands on” in our approach. We picked up our order of hot meals cooked fresh daily at Buffet La Stanza in Saint-Laurent and delivered the meals to 175 St. Gabriel students.

From the start, we were encouraged and supported by Bill Brookes of the BBB Foundation, one of several generous community-minded individuals. With the addition of a driver and volunteers, in 15 years, we have grown and now help 8,000 schoolchildren daily in 100 different schools and learning centers through a variety of food programs.

It was “touch and go” in the beginning. In 2001, on two occasions, we were called to our location on Notre Dame Street W. to a fire in the adjoining structure. Our place was dubbed the “Miracle on Notre Dame Street” because it survived intact.

Other social issues in those early days clouded the enjoyment of the Generations Foundation “home” to the needy. For a brief period, there were shootings in the neighbourhood.

Recently, citizens for subsidized housing camped out on the adjacent vacant lot, creating unclean conditions. Resentment of gentrification of the neighborhood is still an issue to those who paint graffiti on our neighbours’ homes and buildings.

Whatever the circumstances, it is essential that we focus on stamping out hunger by providing nourishment to help children succeed.

At Project Chance, mothers continuing their education receive snacks to put into their children’s lunch bags. The students in afterschool homework classes at La Maison d’Haiti also benefit from our provisions. Generations Foundation is on track toward alleviating hunger thanks to generous individuals and enterprises donating time and resources.

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