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Christmas Fund: Rising grocery prices mean Rachel has to make hard choices

She has access to community gardens during the summer months, but that supply is winding down as winter approaches.

Donations to the Montreal Gazette Christmas Fund this year can be made exclusively online at

Rachel’s four-year-old is looking forward to Christmas. A year ago, he was too young to really remember the holidays, but Rachel knows this one will last a lifetime, so she’s trying to make it as special as possible.

For a kid this time of year, that means a lot of Elf on the Shelf on television. For Rachel, it means putting together a modest feast for two, decorations and a gift. They live in low-income housing and she’s not working, so she’s taking the time to be present in her child’s life. She’s lived alone since she was 16 and she’s used to scraping by.

Rising grocery prices have hit everyone’s wallets, and Rachel is no exception. She has access to community gardens during the summer months, but that supply is winding down as winter approaches.

“We can’t always have the things we want, we have to make choices,” Rachel said. “Sometimes that means changing meal plans when you get to the grocery store because something is too expensive.”

Fruits and vegetables are a must for her growing boy, so she’ll continue to emphasize quality produce at the expense of other things. Rachel helps out in her neighbourhood, offering to babysit kids in the community. Staying at home during COVID has allowed her to get close to her neighbours, which she considers a silver lining. Life isn’t always easy, but her son is happy and healthy, and that’s all that matters, she said.

“When you’re a mom, you always put yourself last,” Rachel said. “But it was my birthday recently and my son said he wanted to throw a party for me, which was so sweet. He’s my life, and I want to give him everything I can.”


This article is representative of the people your donations are helping. Because of resource limitations and privacy restrictions, the Montreal Gazette cannot accept non-monetary contributions. Donations to the Christmas Fund can be made exclusively online at . Please direct all inquiries to

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