Have you heard of Mealshare?
Do you like to eat out? Do you like to give back to your community? How about if I told you that simply by dining out, you could provide a healthy meal to a youth in need? That’s the concept of Mealshare, a non-profit organisaion on a mission to end hunger founded by cousins Andrew Hall and Jeremy Bryant who came up with the idea at their grandmother’s table, in response to her chastising them to eat their vegetables because children were starving around the world (we’ve all heard that line, right?).
Realising how many CANADIAN youth were going hungry (here in Ontario, the need is great with youth comprising one-third of Ontarians who use food banks, and overall demand is 24% higher today than during the 2008 recession) Hall and Bryant officially launched Mealshare in 2013.
Today Mealshare’s goal is that one day we will explain to our grandchildren that hunger used to be a problem in the world. This is obviously a huge goal, which will require massive systemic change. But, already over the last 15 years, the global percentage of malnourished children has dropped from 33% to 25% so the world is on the right track! Mealshare wants to enable and inspire millions of people to join the fight to end youth hunger. Simply… Mealshare wants to use hunger, to end hunger!
To date, Mealshare has provided over TWO MILLION meals to youth in need – pretty amazing, right? And you can help out by dining out!
How does Mealshare work?
The concept behind Mealshare is simple:
1. Choose a restaurant (currently Canadian Mealshare partner restaurants are located in Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal)
2. Look for the Mealshare logo next to a menu item and order it! You’ll receive and enjoy your meal, but you’re also providing one meal to a youth in need. There’s no extra cost or action for you – just buy one, give one!
3. When a partner restaurant sells a Mealshare menu item, they contribute financially to Mealshare, who sends most of those funds to a partner charity to purchase and provide one meal to a youth in need. Mealshare has at least one local charity partner in each city where they operates (in Toronto it’s Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth), and provides half of the meals locally. The other half are provided through their international charity partner, Save the Children.
Easy, right? It really is! I’ve been working my way through the Mealshare partner restaurants over the past few months – both in Toronto and when I travel and it really is the easiest way you could think of to help out. As well, this year in Petits Chefs cooking club, we’ll be working alongside the good people of Mealshare to help Eva’s Place by dedicating one session a month to making snacks for the youth in need at Eva’s and we started with our first session this week.
Wendy from Eva’s Place came to chat about the work Eva’s does with homeless youth and youth homelessness in Toronto. We also got to hear from Chef Myles Chaulk, himself a graduate of the programme at Eva’s – a true success story!
Then the boys got to work. With just under 30 minutes to make a nut-free snack, I had to search around a little to find an appropriate recipe but hit the jackpot with Rachael Ray’s No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars. A super simple recipe using mostly pantry staple ingredients, it’s also nut free (and our version was gluten free too).
First we made caramel…
Get the recipe for Rachael Ray’s no-bake chewy granola bars here.
Stay tuned next month to see what we cook up and in the meantime, please do consider supporting Mealshare for your next meal out.
Follow Mealshare on social!
- Mealshare Victoria: Mealshare YYJ
- Mealshare Vancouver: Mealshare YVR
- Mealshare Edmonton: Mealshare YEG
- Mealashare Calgary: Mealshare YYC
- Mealshare Toronto: Mealshare YYZ
- Mealshare Ottawa: Mealshare YOW
- Mealshare Montreal: Mealshare YUL