Ottawa restaurants sign up with Mealshare to help feed homeless youth
'... You get your meal, exactly as normal, and you are also providing one meal to a youth in need'
The cupboards are not bare at Operation Come Home, but the kidney beans and other canned goods don't look very appetizing.
Executive director Elspeth McKay says the organization struggles to provide the right kind of food for the homeless youth it serves with what it receives from the food bank each week.
"The order usually consists of canned goods, and on the odd occasion we do get some fresh vegetables, but very little meat, cheese," McKay says.
To try to make up the difference, Operation Come Home has been selected as the benefactor of a new charity in Ottawa: Mealshare.
Mealshare partners with 14 local restaurants
Co-founder Jeremy Bryant says the national organization has partnered with 14 restaurants.
"We get them to put our little Mealshare logo next to a few menu items," Bryant says, "and when you order a Mealshare item you get your meal, exactly as normal, and you are also providing one meal to a youth in need."
For each Mealshare item purchased, the restaurant will donate $1.
McKay says that adds up. She expects the program will generate $18,000 a year for Operation Come Home.
This program will provide us with actual money to be able to purchase quality ingredients ...-Elspeth McKay, Operation Come Home
"This program will provide us with actual money to be able to purchase quality ingredients to be able to produce really good food for the youth that we serve here at Operation Come Home," McKay says.
Organizers hope to sign up another 10 restaurants by the fall.