Mealshare

We want to see an end to youth hunger in our lifetime

Sunday 11 June 2017, by koenvandewinkel@gmail.com

A. The main facts about the activities of the company.

Mealshare is a Canadian non-profit organization founded in July 2013 by entrepreneurs Jeremy Bryant and Andrew Hall, based out of Victoria, B.C. The founders were both working in the corporate life when they realized at a dinner that 8.000.000 Canadians are eating in restaurants each day. At that moment they realized they could make a change!

The organization works together with approximately 250 restaurants where they have several items on the menu with a ‘Mealshare’ logo next to it. For every item the restaurant sells 1 dollar is transferred to Mealshare. Mealshare transfers at least 70 cents of this money directly to Mealshare partners and the rest of the money is used for maintaining business operations and raising awareness of the company and their mission. Mealshare already provided 1.389.238 meals to children in need since their beginning. Half of their meals are shared in local communities in Canada through a partnership with different local charity partners. They select their partners through a strict selections process where they try to focus on improving local communities and providing meals for children. Besides providing meals the local communities also offer shelter, education, counseling and other opportunities for children in need. Mealshare tries to focus mainly on providing meals for the youth in need but also support the charities with other activities. The founders also have the ambition to end child hunger around the world and decided to share half of their meals with the international charity ‘Save the Children’. Save the Children is one of the biggest international organizations that fights for increasing the living conditions for children worldwide.

B. The Ethical challenges this company is addressing.

Mealshare focus on the ethical challenge to end ‘world hunger’. The founders decided to focus on the youth and kids who are vulnerable individuals in situations where they are not able to get adequate nutrition. They believe that when they provide meals they can generate a positive stimulate on multiple aspects on life. The children in need mostly are also struggling with education and shelter and by providing the most basic need of food this can generate a positive effect for the children and create chances to pull them selve out of the destructive cycles or issues they are facing. They specifically focus on the ‘young generation’ because they believe that they will be the one’s that will lead the future society.

Mealshare selected their partners selectively on the ones that focus on support the youth. Each of the charities can define the definition of ‘youth’ differently but they all have in common to support individuals who still have a long future ahead. By working together with local communities the help of mealshare will reflect in the Canadian society. Besides by providing food the organizations will improve the life of children by providing shelter, education and other supportive activities. In our opinion the company is improving the lives of people in need in a really efficient way. Besides helping people out they also create economic value. By working together with restaurant they stimulate local economies and create working possibilities.

C. What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it?

Firstly, we believe this company only has good and ethical intentions, as the main goal of the organization is to help the ones in need, instead of making a profit. The founders of the organization, Jeremy Bryant and Andrew Hall, have both worked in multinational consulting and accounting firms, but couldn’t live with the idea of being fortunate themselves, while others are heavily in need of the basic foundations of life. With the help of other well-established partner charities, their goal is to restore the balance between the fortunate and the unfortunate by providing meals to the children in need.

Secondly, at Mealshare they feel like it is their responsibility to be honest and transparent to their partners and the Mealshare community. Therefore, twice a year, they receive ‘giving reports’ from their partner charities, which entail how many meals were served because of Mealshare. These reports are made public to the partner restaurants to ensure Mealshare meet their commitment. To accomplish this honest and open environment, Mealshare has a Board of Advisors and a Board of Directors to make sure all the responsibilities are being carried out.

D.The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

What is essential for the company are the partnerships with the restaurants. Their business depends on selling a meal that has an Mealshare logo next to it. To make it possible to serve more youth in need, the company has to expand its reach by creating more partnerships. When business is growing and getting more successful it will be harder to stay 100% ethical. The company will need more employees to get the food to the children in need, expansion to other parts in the world, difficulties of transport and staying true to core values.

Furthermore, it is important to maintain the relationships and build trust to ensure not only partners but also the society of its ethical intentions, being transparent is key if a social business wants to be successful. This because of the raising criticism towards social businesses. Some people argue that the intentions of social companies are not always that ethical. The rising trend of social responsibility makes companies use the business model to create an green and caring image. Mealshare should always be about helping less fortunate people and not about promoting partner restaurants or the growing and profitability of the company.

The company could improve by making people more aware of the existence of Mealshare. Other countries could implement the same business model, to be able to help more people in need. This could be done separately or in cooperation with bigger organisations for example NGO’s. We think it is really important to combine resources to serve a bigger purpose.

Location: Victoria, B.C (Canada )

Sector: Accommodation and food service activities

Official website: http://http://www.mealshare.ca/en/home/

Nbr. visits: 25