Services to Community



  • To consult our Strategic Direction 2018-2022, please clik here.

Since 1922, the Dispensary establishes a list of required foods that meet, at minimum cost, the nutritional needs of everyone: this is called the Nutritious Food Basket. Its contents are regularly revised to adjust for diet recommendations and changes in eating habits. Its cost is updated three times a year.

What do you think is the minimum cost per day to feed one person these days? Answer here, in the  (May 2020) issue of the Cost of the Nutritious Food Basket.  

In order to eat well and do it at the lowest price, the Dispensary  established the Guide Eating Well at Low Cost (January 2020 edition).   This guide will help you to have an idea, with the help of reference prices, the amount that should be allowed to each food category in your food basket, according to your needs.

The Dispensary also establishes, on an annual basis, the cost of goods and services for basic needs as well as for a minimum adequate standard of living.  Click here to get the 2017 edition (2016 edition and  2015 edition).

These tools provide the information needed to evaluate the financial situation of pregnant women who arrive at the doors of the Dispensary. They are also useful for public health care workers.

Nurturing Life allows Quebec community perinatal workers access to a toolbox for different subjects related to perinatal nutrition. The Public Health Agency of Canada has contributed financially to this initiative.

The Dispensary offers its workers a variety of information services and training in perinatal nutrition with the goal of enabling them to respond fully to their clientele. The Dispensary makes more accessible the practices and scientific language of perinatal nutrition.

Nurturing Life distinguishes itself by his contents in nutrition from pregnancy to childhood which are highlight the practical experience of the Dispensary. The toolbox offers:

  • Technical information factsheets
  • Case studies
  • Practical workshops
  • Online training / Webcasts
  • Perinatal reviews
  • Scientific and news headlines / bulletins
  • “Ask the Dispensary team your questions”

To become a member, click here.

The Dispensary participates in different coordination bodies, work and consultation groups.

Familles Centre-Ville

This recent coordinating body, in the Peter-McGill district, for children 0-5 years of age, is presently putting together an ambitious action plan to mobilize stakeholders in the west end of Montreal around a family centered approach. The Dispensary is a member of this body in addition to offering services and participating actively in the coordinating group.

SAM (Système alimentaire montréalais)

SAM is a committee focused on the implementation of a development plan for a fair and durable food system and in the Greater Montreal area and was launched by the Conférence des élus (CRÉ) of Montreal.  About twenty different organizations and local, regional and national institutions interact with all the stakeholders in the food system with the objective, for 2025, that each citizen on the island of Montreal will have access to a variety of healthy food, both easily available and affordable.

Table de concertation sur la faim et le développement social du Montréal métropolitain

This Board is a citizen movement that aims to reduce society’s dependence on food aid, food insecurity, and the isolation caused by poverty. The Dispensary recently joined this table and wishes to contribute to the thinking on food solidarity – thinking that must take into account the social, economical and political dimensions of the organization of the food system.

Working in the Montreal community for 136 years, the Dispensary has the opportunity to have in its employment a closely related multidisciplinaty team — nutritionists, communiyt worker, counsellors in perinatality and breastfeeding, child care educator.

The fields of expertise inherent to the Dispensary’s mission are:

  • perinatal nutrition;
  • breastfeeding;
  • food security, particularlary with respect to:
    • satisfying nutritional needs at low cost for all groups of sex and age;
    • sensibility to multiethnicity.

Centred on the baby, the Dispensary’s approach is characterized by the offer of free high-quality services, easily accessible and flexible, as well as an evidence-based practice.