12.6% of the Canadian population experiences food insecurity, or the inability to access the necessary amount of nutritious food in order to live a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Single mothers, immigrants, and aboriginal households are particularly at risk. Food insecurity and lack of basic nutrition can lead to poor health, chronic illness, and depression, creating a cycle of poverty for those already struggling to make ends meet.
In tackling this problem of food insecurity, MealCare also attempts to address the issue of food waste. 40% of the food produced in Canada is thrown out annually, worth over $30 billion. Most of this food waste is perfectly edible, and is more than enough to feed those facing hunger. Methane gas is released from degrading food, and hundreds of acres of land are used as garbage dumps for food waste.
So MealCare came up with a solution:
Save the extra food before it is thrown out, and feed Canadians who are food insecure.
An efficient process that maximizes imapct
Our Process: Explained
MealCare works directly with universities and grocery stores across the country to save left-over food from the landfill. Canadian universities feed thousands of students per day at their many cafeterias, but often are unable to budget the right amount of food to have no waste by end-of-day. This left-over food is rarely re-used the next day, and is instead thrown away to make room for the new meals cooked the next morning. MealCare partners with Canadian universities in order to collect this leftover food, and serve it to people in need. MealCare also works directly with independently-owned grocers, collecting leftover produce that would otherwise be thrown out and replaced by new shipments.
MealCare is made up of dozens of dedicated volunteers across Canada, and are the backbone of the MealCare process. Our volunteers collect food from university cafeterias, testing for quality and organizing by food type. Working with local staff, they create ingredient lists in order to be able to inform our recipients of any possible allergy concerns. MealCare volunteers also help initiate new partnerships with food-giving and food-receiving organizations in the local community.
MealCare partners with local drivers, also volunteers, to transport the food from the universities and grocers to our food recipients. Food is stored in freezer bags in order to stay fresh, and is always collected and served within the span of a few hours. Our drivers work with our volunteers to deliver the food quickly and efficiently to our food recipients.
MealCare partners with local non-profit organizations, dedicated to feeding their community. Unique to each city, our food recipients distribute our delivered food to those who need it most. In Montréal, MealCare partners with Old Brewery Mission, an NGO who serves dinner to over 270,000 homeless men and women each year. By partnering organizations with excess food and those in need, MealCare eliminates food waste and contributes to ending food insecurity within local Canadian communities.