Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Food insecurity in Canada, and what Guelph and other areas do to help

From the research I have done so far, it seems that Canada’s biggest issue when it comes to food security, outside of global warming is actually ‘poverty’. According to Canada’s Action Plan for Food Security, those
who are the poor and vulnerable members of society are the most likely to
suffer from food insecurity, and also those who are the least likely to be able
to change the situation. It was found that among these people, Aboriginal
people, single-mothers, children, people with disabilities (including mental
health issues), recent immigrants and those who have not yet completed high
school are the most vulnerable.

It is also those who are living on Canada’s social assistance program as their main source of income are the ones who are most likely to have a food insecure status. Those who also are the ‘working poor’ (those
who work, for minimum wage and still cannot meet basic needs), seniors,
children, and single mothers are also
extremely vulnerable in Canada.

Although it is just a short term solution, one thing across Canada that we do to try to combat this is a program called Meal Exchange. Meal Exchange focuses on University
students across Canada, to rally together and collect canned goods from the
society to donate to local food banks.

From their website (www.mealexchange.com)

Our Mission: Addressing hunger through student solutions.

Our Vision: To help eliminate the root causes of hunger and poverty by
engaging tomorrow's leaders, today.

Meal Exchange's Approach

Meal Exchange is organized exclusively for charitable purposes with aims and objectives to:

  • DONATE food to registered charitable organizations and those in need.
  • EDUCATE students about the root causes of hunger.
  • CREATE and involve students in volunteer opportunities with not-for-profit organizations that address hunger and hunger-related issues.
  • IDENTIFY and implement student solutions to hunger.

One of their biggest events is Trick Or Eat, an event that runs on Halloween, that requires students to sign up in teams, dress up, and go out trick or treating, but instead of collecting candy, they collect canned
goods. At my school as well, we
participate in another meal exchange program called Skip a Meal where we donate
money off of our meal plans, to go towards buying food for the food banks in
our area.

Unbelievable!!! Trick or Eat 2009 was our biggest and best campaign yet!

Amount of Food Raised = 165,500 meals (our goal was 160,000)

Number of Volunteers = 7,487 (our goal was 7,000)

Online Donations = $37,104 (our goal was $30,000)”

this is a great, student run program devoted to helping those who are less
financially fortuna

Views: 23

Comment by Mita Williams on March 22, 2010 at 7:14pm
Kismet! I was introduced to some members of the local chapter of Meal Exchange at lunch today in our university's student centre. AND they gave me a vegan cookie! ;)
Thanks for sharing their work with the network, Justine!


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