If you’re reading this, you probably love going out for dinner. Would you also love to help prevent kids from going hungry? On May 9, you can do both by attending Mealshare’s Tonight for Tomorrow fundraiser.
If you’ve gone out for dinner in Ottawa sometime in the past two years, you’ve probably seen the Mealshare symbol on a menu. The Canadian charity operates in seven cities with a mission to end child hunger. Partner restaurants designate a Mealshare item on their menu, and whenever a customer orders one, the restaurant donates a dollar to Mealshare, which passes along those funds to charities that help feed children and youth in need. One dollar equals one donated meal. Half the funds are used locally, and half go to international partners WE and Save the Children.
Tonight for Tomorrow is an extra-large version of Mealshare’s regular fundraising efforts. On May 9, participating restaurants will donate a dollar to the program for every dollar customers spend on dinner (not just on Mealshare items).
Three Ottawa restaurants are taking part: La Roma on Preston Street, the Dalhousie location of Burgers and Fries Forever, and The Cameron, which is about to open in the clubhouse of the Ottawa Tennis and Lawn Bowling Club in Old Ottawa South. The restaurant is open to the public. (The team behind The Cameron also runs The Belmont on Bank Street.)
“All three restaurants have a completely different vibe to them. BFF has a few seats but I think most people will grab some food to go. They’re participating between 6pm and 8:30pm only. For La Roma, I would recommend making a reservation. The Cameron’s going to be one big party—no reservation needed,” says Katie Hession, the Ottawa Community Leader for Mealshare, as well as the force behind local Instagram favourite @yowcitystyle.
More than two dozen restaurants in Ottawa are Mealshare partners, with more coming on board all the time, according to Hession, who’s been on the job just two months but has already helped to grow the charity’s presence in Ottawa.
“I looked at the job description and figured that with all the networking and connections I have through Instagram, I would definitely be able to help them make an impact. It’s a really natural fit,” she says.
“In my previous career I was a special education teacher, so I know that every child should have as much of an equal opportunity as we can give them. I saw those kids who hadn’t had breakfast, or lunch, and the impact that had on their learning. Being able to help them while they’re children will help us end the cycle of poverty,” Hession adds.
So if you love burgers, pasta, or parties, consider spending some of your dining-out dollars on May 9, when your money will also help Mealshare fill the bellies of kids who really need a meal. Knowing that might make your food taste even better.