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Frequently Asked Questions

Why does Mealshare exist?

Our dream is to sit in a rocking chair one day and explain to our grandkids that hunger used to be a major problem in our world. It would be incredible if at that point, our grandkids couldn’t even believe us, because the world they lived in didn’t struggle with hunger at all.

Now, we know this is an audacious goal, which will require massive systemic change. But we also know that youth hunger has dropped from 33% to 25% of kids worldwide in the past 15 years. We’re on the right track, and we want Mealshare to enable and inspire millions of people to join the fight to end hunger.

How does Mealshare work?

Mealshare partners with restaurants, and places our logo next to a few menu items. When a customer orders a ‘Mealshare Item’, they get their meal, just like normal. And, we also provide one meal to a youth in need! Buy one, give one – it’s that simple!

For each meal sold, restaurants contribute $1.00 to Mealshare. We then forward along most of those funds to one of our partner charities, to go out and purchase the groceries and ingredients needed for a meal. See here for the breakdown of what Mealshare does with the funds we receive from partner restaurants.

Why does Mealshare support youth, and what does ‘youth’ mean?

At Mealshare, we believe that everyone deserves the right to eat. Unfortunately, youth and kids are the most vulnerable individuals and too often find themselves in situations where they are not able to get adequate nutrition. If we provide meals, education, and holistic support to these individuals when they are young, there’s a much better chance that they will be able to pull themselves out of whatever destructive cycles or issues they’re facing. We support youth today, because they will support the world tomorrow.

All of our partner charities support youth. Each of our charities define ‘youth’ differently, and the youth that one of charitable partners supports may be very different than the youth that another one of our charities support. From a girl in second grade at an elementary school in inner city Vancouver, to a teenager name Moussa in rural Mali, to a 21 year-old woman living on the streets in downtown Calgary, we support individuals who still have a long future ahead of them and haven’t had their shot at self-sufficiency yet. With Mealshare and our partner charities’ support, we’re confident that their futures will be bright and full of opportunity!

Why do restaurants participate? What is in it for them?

Our partner restaurants care deeply about their communities and the well-being of those less fortunate than themselves. They choose to partner with Mealshare to make an impact and give back, in a way that fits their business – sharing wholesome meals with people! We also raise awareness for hunger issues as well as our partner restaurants through a number of marketing channels. We hope you will fiercely support our partner restaurants, and continue to enjoy their delicious food knowing that they care about not only their own business, but also for the community and world they live in.

How do I know money really goes to feed others?

At Mealshare we believe it is our responsibility to be open and honest with our partners and the Mealshare community. Twice a year we receive ‘giving reports’ from our partner charities which outline how many meals were served because of Mealshare. These giving reports are made available to partner restaurants to ensure we meet our commitment. In addition, we have a Board of Advisors, as well as a Board of Directors who ensures responsibilities are being met. If you have additional questions, please reach out to us at info@mealshare.ca.

What if I want to donate a meal but don’t want one of the Mealshare items?

Mealshare will accept donations online – click here! In addition, you can support us by telling your friends about Mealshare on social media or encouraging restaurants to be part of the program.

What do the meals look like?

Our partner charities provide all sorts of different meals, and they look much different from one charity partner to the next. Our team visits and volunteers at our local partner charities and have seen first-hand, the meals in action. Each of our partner charities strives to provide meals in accordance with the Canada Food Guide or similar standards. Internationally, the meals that we provide through Save the Children are created using local ingredients and are typically composed of rice or couscous, served with veggies and beans.

 

Where does the money go?

Mealshare supports many charities. Most of the support collected in in your home city stays there, providing meals for people in need in your own community. Each community has unique needs and infrastructure, so we support in different charities depending on the city – we provide meals through shelters, food banks, and primary schools! We are also proud to provide meals internationally through Save the Children Canada. Save the Children provides both long-term development assistance and emergency relief. Currently, we work with Save the Children to provide meals to school children in Mali, Africa. Many of these children have been impacted by the recent food crisis and armed conflict in the country.

How much do they pay?

At Mealshare, we want to make things as simple as possible – that’s why we always try to communicate in meals! What we love about Mealshare is that you know that one meal is provided for every one meal purchased. We hated being asked for donations at the grocery store and not really knowing what that money did – did it provide counseling for someone, help build a house, or just go to overhead!? So, we try to be different. Our promise is to provide one meal, for each Mealshare item sold.

The dollar figure provided from restaurants is $1.00 per Mealshare item. It’s amazing, but that’s all it takes to provide a meal to someone in need. With that, we can provide a meal at one of our partner charities. It also allows us to run our organization and raise awareness of the program, hunger issues and our partner restaurants. For every dollar we receive from restaurants, at least 70¢ goes directly to providing meals for people in need through a partner charity. The remaining funds are used to raise awareness of hunger issues in Canada and run Mealshare.

Who pays for the meal?

Our partner restaurants provide contributions to Mealshare, which ultimately pay for the meals. At the end of each month, restaurants give funding to Mealshare for each Mealshare item purchased. We then forward along funds to our partner charities to purchase the groceries/ingredients required to make a meal!