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Guillaume Girad has a daily practice of dumpster diving, a practice that not only sustains him but also provides for numerous members of Montreal’s Petite-Patrie neighborhood. He fills his van with surplus food sourced from food banks, community gardens, bakeries, and dumpsters. Girad’s dedication has ignited a movement, prompting others to join in, resulting in almost daily distributions based on the availability of volunteer dumpster divers. Girad started on this path 15 years ago, driven by a realization that the food system perpetuates overproduction and discards perfectly edible food, while many individuals struggle with hunger. In the wake of the pandemic, larger groups of those receiving donations gathered due to the rising cost of living and people seeking alternative ways to save money. The impact has been profound, resonating not only in those looking to reduce food waste but also in serving the community’s diverse members. Notably, a significant portion of recent attendees comprises asylum seekers, foreign students, and refugees escaping the war in Ukraine.

Bongiorno , Joe. “Struggling to Afford Rent, Groceries, More Hungry Montrealers Turn to Dumpster Divers for Food | CBC News.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 8 Oct. 2023,