Skip-A-Meal is back!

Monday, March 5, 2007

Written by Scott Gilbert

Meal Exchange, which is one of several CSA services, recently launched their annual "Skip-A-Meal" campaign. Skip-A-Meal is a program designed to allow university students to donate a portion of their meal card "food dollars" to Meal Exchange, which will in turn be passed along to those in need. The campaign started on February 26th, and will run until March 9th. From March 5th until March 9th it will be campus-wide, but until then it will be confined to campus-based residences. After March 5th collection booths can be found at Tills in Prairie, Creelman & Centre 6.

Leisha Zamecnik, Meal Exchange Central Co-ordinator, says "Our goal for the 2-week program is $22,300 and 19 agencies are really depending on us." She encourages Guelph students to give generously to this much needed cause. The Meal Exchange press release said "With over 3 million people hungry in Canada and over 200 homeless youth alone here in Guelph, there are many that don't know where their next meal is coming from."

The Skip-A-Meal program is not just aimed at students. Staff and faculty are also able to put their meal points towards the campaign. Once the money is collected, all one hundred percent of it will be used to purchase bulk food through the university's food service department, Hospitality Services, and then donated to the various agencies involved in the program. On average, each meal provided through the program costs about $2.50 per person.

The national Skip-A-Meal program has generated $474,721 in donations from 36,000 students on 24 campuses. The national Meal Exchange website says that "Campus Coordinators consult with local food banks and agencies to identify which products are most in need. This approach ensures that items that are not always attainable through a regular food drive, like baby food, foods low in sugar or food for unique cultural communities, get to the people who really need it."

For more information, visit the Meal Exchange website
Phone: (519)-824-4120 ext. 58212

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