Hunger: A Stark Reality in Guelph - How You Can Help

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Written by Leisha Zamecnik

Eating a nice meal is something that we often take for granted. We stop by Subway to grab a bite or throw a frozen lasagna in the oven and before long our stomachs are full and we are feeling energized again.

For many in our community though, food is something that is not nearly as accessible. To paint a clearer picture:

*In Canada, every 14th person you shook hands with would be hungry
*Over 823,856 people used a food bank in a one month period in 2005
*Over 3000 utilize the Guelph Food Bank every month and nearly 1500 of them are children.

In an attempt to brighten this stark picture, Meal Exchange was created back in 1993 and has the goal of engaging students to address local hunger issues. Today chapters exist across the country, with the chapter here in Guelph raising over $86,000 of food last year alone.

On now is our Skip a Meal program that runs Sept. 25-Oct. 6. 100% of the funds raised through the campaign benefit 17 local agencies ranging from area women and youth shelters to numerous local food banks, including the one here on campus to ensure students always have access to food.

The program is unique in that agencies can create a ‘wish list’ of items that specifically tailors their order to the needs of their clients. In addition, it makes donating fast and convenient for students, staff and faculty as a donations of either meal points or cash can be made in a matter of seconds right here on campus.

From September 25-Oct. 1, students in residence can donate by contacting their Interhall Rep or RA.

Oct. 2-6 anyone can donate by going to one of 3 special tills located in Prairie, Centre Six, or Creelman. Donations are also accepted at the Bullring.

The Meal Exchange crew is also busy preparing for our annual Trick or Eat event, where students canvass for non-perishables door to door in costume on Halloween evening. Last year saw over 800 registrations, breaking our own (and national) record. To help us make this year even more of a success, register here

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