In November of 2019, as part of a month-long pilot project, the Martensville A&W location participated in a partnership with Mealshare, which provided one meal to a local charity when customers purchased a particular item from their menu. This pilot project took place in A&W locations across the province and select locations within Ontario. “During the trial, we managed to raise enough to provide over 45,000 meals to youth in need,” Mona Pinder of Mealshare said. Because of this pilot project’s success, Mealshare now has a national partnership with A&W, which kicked off on Monday, February 1.
“The Saskatchewan franchisees really loved what we were doing and loved that we were focused on local charities so they were part of the reason that we were able to create this partnership with the rest of Canada,” Pinder added.
Mealshare is a non-for-profit organization with the goal of ending youth hunger. “It may be a little audacious, but we say that we want to sit around and talk to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren and have them be in awe when we tell them that there used to be kids in the world that didn’t have enough to eat. That is our ultimate goal,” Pinder explained.
For restaurants that are looking for a way to give back to the local community; however, are busy running their restaurant or unsure of where to start – that’s where Mealshare comes in. A partnership is created and restaurants choose an item on their menu to be a Mealshare item and when guests order that item, a meal is provided to a youth in need via a local charity. Basically, buy one – give one.
Pinder noted that prior to COVID, Mealshare was partnered with approximately 500 restaurants across Canada; however, the global pandemic caused a significant drop in that number. As of February 1, when the national partnership with A&W launched, a total of 1000 new restaurants across Canada were added. Along with those 1000 restaurants, a total of 300 new charities were added as well, with many of the charities being located in smaller rural communities where A&W franchises are located.
“We are so excited to be able to add all of these new charities in smaller communities because we know that hunger isn’t just an issue in larger communities. It affects every size town and city that there is. To be able to truly be across Canada is the biggest and most important thing about this new partnership,” Pinder stated.
Through A&W, there are two options with how you can help support Mealshare. Every Monday will be ‘Mealshare Monday’ and for every Cheddar Bacon Uncle Burger Combo that is purchased, a donation will be made. In addition to this option, customers can also add $1 to any order on any day of the week which will provide a meal to a youth in need.
Money raised goes to Mealshare charities, which use those funds to go towards their food program. The Martensville A&W location will have funds going to the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre.
Not only does Mealshare support local charities, they also support international charities. “Providing a meal to a child in Canada costs more than providing to a child in Ethiopia where we are currently working with Save the Children Canada. Because it is a ‘buy a meal – give a meal’, 80% of the funds stay local in the community because the meals are more expensive,” Pinder said.
Martensville A&W is currently the only restaurant in the community partnered with Mealshare; however, several Saskatoon restaurants are also partners. For more information on available options, visit www.mealshare.ca.
For restaurants interested in learning more about how they can partner with Mealshare, visit www.mealshare.ca, or contact Mona Pinder, Mealshare Community Leader, at email@example.com.
“Now that we are set up with a network of local charities, if there are other restaurants that want to get involved, we can get them on board quite easily, and we would love to have them.”