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A&W, Mealshare partnership benefits local food bank

Lloydminster residents are now able to give back to the Salvation Army Food Bank when they visit any A&W location in the city.

In 2019, Mealshare launched a pilot project with A&W in Saskatchewan and has now partnered with the restaurant chain to provide meals to youths across all 1,000 locations in the country. Mealshare is a not-for-profit organization that partners with restaurants and designates a meal item when purchased $1 will go towards Mealshare.

Mona Pinder with Mealshare says the money will then be donated to both a local charity and a global one.

“About 20 per cent of our funding goes to international charities because we can supply a lot of meals when we work with programs like Save the Children Canada in Ethiopia. As you can imagine, it’s much less expensive to provide a meal there and 80 per cent of our funds stay in the local community where our restaurants are.”

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As part of their A&W partnership, every Monday is designated as “Mealshare Monday” where people can buy a Cheddar Bacon Uncle Burger combo and one meal will be donated to the community. On other days, customers can add $1 to their purchase to donate to the program.

“This partnership is exciting because it does get us out of major centres. Meal hunger doesn’t just happen in large cities it happens in rural communities as well. We are truly a national charity across the country now.”

Pinder says their goal is to share 1,250,000 meals per year and end youth hunger.

“We’ve heard some statistics from our charity partners who work with children that prior to COVID maybe one in five children were going to school with not enough food to eat. There are some estimates that after COVID it’s potentially one in three kids. We know if a kid doesn’t have enough food to eat it’s hard to learn and succeed so this is more important than ever.”

Pinder encourages all restaurant-owners in Lloydminster and across Canada to get involved with Mealshare. The organization has provided 3.8 million meals since they started in 2013.

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