“Speak don’t study” – learning a language is much more than memorizing vocabulary; it’s about building meaningful connections. Meeting new people allows us to learn about other places, perspectives, and ideas and in doing so, open our minds and our hearts. As newcomers to Montreal, many students are searching for meaningful experiences just like this in their new community.
Every week CLC’s volunteer club makes and shares dinner with members of OHMH Girouard (a residence for active seniors), as part of NDG Food Depot’s “Intergenerational meals”. Students and residents share memories, stories, and reflections on their life experiences. Each individual brings a different place and viewpoint to the table, allowing participants learn from each other and gain new perspectives. These conversations might take participants to a country they’ve never been or reflect on fond memories from their own lives.
Every week when students arrive at the residence, their evening begins in the kitchen. As a team, they learn to make a new recipe from scratch and prepare dinner. Once the meal is ready, students sit down with the residence members to enjoy the food along with some quality bonding time.
A central aspect of NDG Food Depot’s mission is exactly this – social integration. They work to build strong ties and understanding between community members in order to address issues of food security. As a non-profit organization, NDG Food Depot runs various programs (including Intergenerational meals) that focus on increasing access to healthy food and educating the public about issues of poverty and hunger.
By participating in Intergenerational Meals, students are not just meeting new people, but contributing to the Food Depot’s important mission. The perspectives they gain allow for new relationships and a deeper understanding of the community around them.
With a supportive and friendly community, CLC students can push themselves outside of their comfort zones and build rich, meaningful connections. We hope you’ll join us for the next Intergenerational Meals!