Fourteen Ottawa restaurants have joined forces to support the innovative Mealshare program, which launched in our city this week and is designed to turn dining out into helping out. Founded three years ago in Western Canada, Mealshare has now partnered with over 200 restaurants in 50 communities across the country and has provided almost three quarters of a million meals to youth who might not otherwise have access to nutritious food.
The premise is simple. Visit any of the participating restaurants, which include the Albion Rooms, CRAFT Beer Market, all 5 locations of the Clocktower Brew Pub, North and Navy, Petit Bills Bistro, The Red Lion, Social, The Shore Club, Smoke’s Poutinerie and Thyme and Again. Order any of the items that feature the Mealshare icon and the restaurant will make a donation to Mealshare. As their catchphrase says, “buy one, give one”.
Co-founder Jeremy Bryant was on hand at the Ottawa launch event at the Shore Club; he explained that he and his cousin founded Mealshare after being exhorted as youngsters by their grandmother to eat all their vegetables because “there are starving kids in Africa”. This early lesson inspired their drive to reduce and, eventually, eliminate hunger as a societal problem.
The funds collected locally by Mealshare, a non-profit, will be allocated to Operation Come Home and the organization’s international charity partner, Save the Children, to provide school lunches in Mali, Africa. “We work with organizations that help kids experience transformative change and break the cycle of poverty,” explained Jeremy, who notes that Mealshare hopes to have more than two dozen participating restaurants in Ottawa by Labour Day.
For more information, visit www.mealshare.ca