Mealshare Alberta Expansion
To hire more staff for our Mealshare concept in Alberta in order to grow our presence in more restaurants and have a greater impact on the community.
Mealshare is a buy one, give one hunger relief model for restaurants. Restaurants put our logo beside a few menu items. When someone buys a Mealshare menu item, they get their meal just like normal, but they’re also providing one meal to someone in need. Buy one, give one! It’s that simple. Our meals are provided through local and international partner charities who are already doing great work on the ground.
Mealshare started in Alberta in July 2013 with 4 restaurants, and now we have over 55 independent partner restaurants in the province and close to 100 including chain locations. We’re revolutionizing the way the restaurant industry gives back. However, our growth has been slowed because we don’t yet have the funds to hire someone to work in Calgary more than part-time. We’d love to be able to have our part-time Community Leader, Breanne, be a full-time employee and continue to expand our program in Southern Alberta by attracting more restaurants to the program both in Calgary (our biggest market) and in surrounding communities like Lethbridge, Red Deer, Medicine Hat, and more, that we haven’t had time to dedicate resources to in the past.
If we were able to hire Breanne full-time, she could expand Mealshare greatly throughout Southern Alberta. Every restaurant she is able to get on board translates to an average of 3,600 meals given to people in need every year, so the investment we put in could have amazing returns over the next 5+ years!
Who Will it Benefit?
Mealshare has two main beneficiaries and a few other secondary beneficiaries.
About half of all our charitable meals are provided right in the community that the restaurant Mealshare items were purchased in. These meals are provided through existing local charities. For Calgary, we provide meals through the Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre right downtown. Here, people are able to come in and receive a meal at no cost, three times per day, but we think of the meal as the handshake to a great organization. Once they\'re at the DI, they\'re exposed to a wide array of other life-changing services as well - like job training, counseling, addictions recovery, etc. So, we\'re super excited to be funding meals here - because it\'s a gateway to positive change, and because it\'s an overhead-free way for the DI to get more fundraising for meals and spend more time on other programs that really create change. Though half of our meals are provided locally, over 80% of the financial support we forward on to charities actually stays local due to the difference in meals costs from local to international charities.
We provide meals internationally through Save the Children in Mali, Africa at the moment - our second beneficiary.
Beyond these two, we also believe we cause positive benefit to restaurants and their staff, who are now able to feel more positive about their community impact. As well, we\'re helping foster a more positive, sharing culture in the province, increasing the feeling of community every time someone sees a Mealshare item on a menu. We believe that someone who encounters sharing once is more likely to do so again at another time, in another way!