Ingrid Meyer leads the Share a Meal Program in the South Cariboo.
When Ingrid Meyer joined the South Cariboo Food Security Committee she asked, “What can we do right now to help vulnerable families feel part of the community?”
She then answered this question herself by starting the Share a Meal program.
Ingrid approached 11 restaurants in the South Cariboo asking them to participate in the Share a Meal program.
As part of the program, restaurant staff ask patrons if they are interested in adding $5, $10, $15 or more to their bill to give a family in need a free meal at the restaurant.
Through the overwhelming support of the restaurants and the commitment of their staff, the Share a Meal program has been a great success and is being considered by other communities in the province.
Since the fall, Ingrid has collected more than $3,500 of restaurant vouchers from Smitty’s, Old School Grill, Cindy’s Cookery, Hungry Bear Diner, BJ’s Donuts & Eatery, Smilies Café, Yummers En Route, Blue Sky, One Another–A Coffee House, The Chartreuse Moose and El Caballo.
Ingrid has distributed restaurant vouchers to Loaves and Fishes Outreach, Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre, 100 Mile & District Women’s Centre, Canadian Mental Health Association, Axis Family Resources, Horton Ventures and Cariboo Christian Life Fellowship.
Families have benefitted by being able to go out for lunch and dinner to celebrate events, such as birthdays, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Without these vouchers, these families could not have afforded to have a meal at a restaurant.
Families have said how wonderful it was for them to be able to celebrate their child’s birthday just like other parents are able to do.
Watch out for the Share a Meal posters and tent cards in restaurants that you frequent and please consider adding a few dollars to your bill to support a family in need.
For more information on the program, contact Ingrid Meyer at 250-791-5663.
Lisa De Paoli is executive director at the Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre.