These five women in Montreal are gathering every month to cook food that will feed the less fortunate. Food scarcity has become a bigger issue since the pandemic started and these ladies are trying to mitigate its negative effects.
They’re the co-founders of the Shathi Sisters, a multifaith soup kitchen. They come together once every month and cook food which they donate to the less fortunate in the city.
Women in Montreal Cook Food for the less Fortunate every Month
Rumana Sobhan, one of the co-founders said that when the pandemic hit, many people lost their homes and ended up living in the streets. There was no better timing to start their soup kitchen than that harsh period.
Shathi is a Bangladeshi word that means togetherness. This is actually what drives these women to operate this multifaith kitchen out of the St. George’s Anglican Church in downtown Montreal.
As of December, the Shathi Sisters spend one Saturday every month prepping 100 meals. However, they manage to keep their food costs under $100.
Rahman explains that it’s more than scraps of foods, but rather how they’re using them. It’s like they’re cooking for their families. The food is delicious, healthy, and low-cost.
When the meals are prepped, they’re distributed to various organizations across the island like the Old Brewery Mission and the Resilience Montreal.
For another member of the soup kitchen, Irene Mazumder, it’s their duty to do this. Not just because there are people who need it, but it’s also something they should be doing. She believes that if they can help, then they should do it.
What Are the Plans for the Future?
The Shathi Sisters don’t plan to stop here. They want to expand their services and grow as a community so that they can provide more food on a weekly basis to people in need, regardless of their faith.
Sobhan notes that her purpose is to serve the community. And although they’ve started with a soup kitchen, they want to do more in the near future.
Rahman also added that Bangladeshi women often care for others too much and forget to care for themselves. So, the idea behind this project is to also take care of themselves.
Because of the pandemic restrictions, the women met up every four weeks and fulfilled their need for seeing each other. This boosted their morale and they regularly chat in their group chat.
Although chatting has its advantages, says Mazumder, seeing and being together in person is a very different feeling.