When you buy a meal through Mealshare – whose goal is to end youth hunger within our lifetime – you’ll be providing a meal to a child or youth in need. How it works: Mealshare partners with restaurants and solutions-based charity partners to provide meals to youth and children in need in Calgary and across Canada, as well as overseas.
When you order a Mealshare branded menu item, you don’t pay anything extra to do good. It’s easy: all you need to do is buy a meal, to give a meal, explains Breanne Sich, Mealshare Calgary community leader.
“It’s a meal for a meal. All you have to do is eat.”
When you dine out at one of Mealshare’s approximately 70 partner restaurants in Calgary and order a Mealshare meal, the restaurant will donate a portion of the proceeds to charity – $1 – which is then divvied up between Mealshare’s local and international charity partners. Breanne describes it this way: When two people go out for dinner and each orders a Mealshare meal, one donated meal will stay local and the second donated meal will go international.
Internationally, Mealshare works with Save the Children Canada, which has just wrapped up a school building/ meal sharing program in Mali, and is now starting up an initiative in Ethiopia.
In Calgary, Mealshare works with two different charity partners: Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids , which works in partnership with Calgary schools to make and deliver free healthy lunches for students who would otherwise go hungry; and The Drop In Centre .
Mealshare was founded in 2013 by Jeremy Bryant and Andrew Hall. The co-founders, who are cousins, grew up in Calgary, in families who taught them the value of giving back. After graduating from university and working in the corporate world at multinational consulting and accounting firms, Jeremy and Andrew decided to pursue their passion for giving back and came up with the idea for Mealshare.
Mealshare now operates across Canada in major cities, from Vancouver to Halifax. Mealshare is active in smaller communities as well, thanks to its partnership with Original Joe’s Restaurant & Bar in western Canada; and Mealshare recently opened its first U.S. location, in Austin, Texas. To date, Mealshare has shared more than 1.28 million meals with children and youth, and was featured in CBC TV’s first episode of We are Canada, which puts the spotlight on a new generation of passionate change-makers.
You can find out about Mealshare partner restaurants by visiting Mealshare.ca. And if you check out Mealshare this week, you’re in for a treat, because it’s Calgary Poutine Week until April 29 – “when you can eat poutine GUILT FREE!” Every poutine eaten during Poutine Week in a participating restaurant provides a free meal to a youth in need thanks to Mealshare. Visit calgarypoutine.com for more information.
And mark your calendars for Wednesday May 10, when Mealshare will hold a multi-city fundraiser, Tonight for Tomorrow, in Calgary, Vancouver and Ottawa. It’s a decentralized fundraiser happening simultaneously at 16 Calgary restaurants. For every one dollar you spend on food, one dollar will be donated to help grow Mealshare.
“It will be a lot of fun,” Breanne says. “It’s a variety of dining choices” (including Craft Beer Market, 1410 World Bier Haus + Restaurant, Rouge, Whitehall, Bow Valley Ranche, Fiasco Gelato, Naina’s Kitchen, and more). It’s a decentralized fundraiser happening simultaneously at 16 YYC restaurants. You can go out and dine like you normally would, but this time it will be very impactful. If you’re going to dine out any time at all during the month of May, we’re hoping it will be on Wednesday, May 10.” See a list of participating at Tonight for Tomorrow.
Mealshare is always looking for new partner restaurants, as well as for volunteers. If you’d like to come out to serve meals at the Drop-In Centre, or make lunches with Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org