Hunger is a very real problem in our society that often goes unnoticed. There are an estimated 18,781 hungry in Guelph. Of these, 5,454 are children under the age of 15; 4,001 are youth aged 15 to 24; and 2,755 are seniors over 65. Statistics from the Canadian Association of Food Banks indicate a donation of one meal from a typical student meal plan will provide four emergency meals for these people - this means students at the University of Guelph could provide up to 16,256 emergency meals each year to address hunger in Guelph.
Meal Exchange is a national student initiative aimed at eradicating hunger in Canada. With over 45 chapters nation wide, Guelph has become one of the most developed chapters. Throughout the school year we run a variety of events to raise awareness of local hunger as well as to collect non-perishable foods or money for our 19 local charities we support.
- Canadian Food Summit coming up in August (17th - 19th) at the University of Toronto.
- Meal Exchange is drafting up a National Food Charter, e-mail us if you want to be involved and to find out more information.
Once every semester, we give students a chance to donate money from their meal plans, or cash donation for the 19 local food banks. Last year students donated $22,000 in one semester, the highest amount collected nation wide. With this program and purchasing in bulk supply, one average student meal ($10) equals 4 meals for the food banks.
On the 31st of October, teams of students from the university "dress to the nines" in their best Halloween costume and go out into the community going door to door collecting non-perishable items for food banks. Last year Guelph set national record highs raising over 36,000 pounds of food, equalling over $60,000, and had approx. 1300 participants.
At the end of the school year in April, residence students are encouraged to donate any non-perishable food, clothes, or excess materials into drop off bins located in all 12 residence buildings. Everything is given to the local food banks.
Hunger Awareness Week:
a week of many events, entertainment, art, speakers, and much more all devoted and determined to spread the message of the fight against hunger in both our local and global communities.
We are always looking for volunteers to help us run our events, deliver, and to make a difference in the fight against hunger. If you're interested in helping to end hunger, feel free to contact us (see contact info below). For more info on the national organization, check out the site at www.mealexchange.com.
Central Coordinator: Anthony Ngai
Promotions & Education Coordinator: Elizabeth Woodside
Volunteer & Donations Coordinator: Namrata Tilokanj
Meal Exchange National Contact Info:
Dave Kranenburg, Executive Director
firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-657-4489