This week (Oct. 19th- 27th, 2018) was Victoria’s second annual Poutine Week! I visited Swans, a local restaurant in Victoria, to show support to Mealshare: a non-profit organization founded by UVic graduates.
They spoke candidly about how after graduating from the Gustavson School of Business, they felt stuck and married to their corporate jobs. The two were looking to play a more meaningful role in their communities—that’s how they developed the Mealshare Program.
Mealshare’s role is to partner with restaurants to provide youth with meals. Each time a hungry customer buys certain items from a partnered restaurant, a meal is also provided to a youth in need.
Weeks passed and I was starting to get swamped with all things homework and midterm-related. Then, I came across an ad online talking about Poutine Week and I remembered how inspired I felt about Derek and Andrew’s stories. They took initiative to try and help others. It may have been challenging to get the program going, but they did it and now they share their story to motivate others to pursue what they’re passionate about.
I thought back to Orientation and felt so grateful for Derek, Andrew, the UVic staff, profs, TA’s, students, and all the INCREDIBLE people working together to make sure that I (along with the 3000+ other incoming students) felt supported coming to UVic.
After pushing through the first few weeks of university and navigating through it all, I decided to go out and celebrate while enjoying some Purposeful Poutine in their honour.
My meal was extra yummy and made me smile because I knew that someone else around my age was going to enjoy a delicious meal too!
As a last note, Mealshare has spread across the country to support youth (locally and internationally) year-round. Here’s a map to search and see if there’s a partner restaurant near you.
And not to fret—many restaurants offer a variety of vegetarian and/or vegan options too!