Montreal Diet Dispensary


Established in 1879 by Emily De Witt as a meals-on-wheels program, the Montreal Diet Dispensary became a champion for poor pregnant women during the 1950s under the leadership of Agnes Higgins, who used improved maternal nutrition to reduce the incidence of low birth weight babies. Research has shown that low weight at birth results in a multitude of costly health and social problems.

Each year, MDD provides nutrition counselling and food such as eggs, milk, and vitamins to almost 2,000 pregnant women. The percentage of low birth weight babies born to women followed by MDD is consistently below the Quebec provincial average.

Full Description

The Foundation’s grant supports the scaling of MDD’s program by:

  • Identifying the interests and knowledge gaps among nutritionists and other prenatal professionals across Canada.
  • Expanding MDD’s knowledge sharing program through its SVP (Service virtuel perinatal en nutrition) web site and planning for a virtual training program based on the three-week intensive training in prenatal nutrition counselling it has offered since 1994.Montreal Diet Dispensary


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  • 2011-2013
  • $ 360,000
  • Funding Type: Past Initiatives
  • Initiatives: Sustainable Food Systems