Anita has spent her career determined to address our most pressing social challenges and believes in the transformative power of young people to create positive change. She has worked on university campuses over the last decade, including at Social Innovation Generation (SiG@Waterloo), a national collaborative addressing Canada’s social and ecological challenges by creating a culture of continuous social innovation. When she was a student at the University of Guelph, Anita led the Meal Exchange chapter to break national records and engage hundreds of students. She holds a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies and a Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation.
Sarah loves exploring how insects, plants and humans can work together. She graduated from McGill University with a degree in Ecological Agriculture and Global Food Systems. She learned from the wisdom of food gathers and growers in seven countries and many nations across Turtle Island. Sarah was co-coordinator of the McGill Food Systems Project, an intern at Local Food Plus and a data analyst at the Global Crop Diversity Trust in Rome, where she collaborated with farmers from 84 countries. Sarah was a Food Secure Canada Board Member from 2013-2016, bringing young voices to a national policy level. She loves the diversity and strength of the Meal Exchange network and can be found planning our programs including the National Student Food Summit and Trick or Eat, connecting with our partners and finding new opportunities for the organization.
Dana has been working to transform food and education on Canada’s campuses since 2007. During his undergraduate degree Dana founded the McGill Food Systems Project, and since graduating he has been helping campuses across the country achieve their own breakthroughs as a manager of the Campus Food Systems Project. He has also worked with the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation to develop their national Value Chain granting program, recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation through the University of Waterloo, and is an Advisory Committee member of Farm to Cafeteria Canada.
Celia first became passionate about food when she learned to garden with her mother as a child. Now, an avid gardener, fisher, hunter and preserver, she engages with the food system in as many ways as possible. Celia began volunteering with Meal Exchange in 2011, and transitioned from her volunteer position into a full-time job with Vancouver Island University after finishing her undergraduate degree. She has learned from farmers and seed savers around the world, and she is passionate about continuing to learn how to transform our world through the food we grow, eat and share.
Merryn became engaged with food insecurity and food systems issues while volunteering at food banks in the North end of Hamilton and was inspired by the 'Code Red' studies conducted at McMaster University. She graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2016 with a graduate degree in Public Health and Health Systems, during which she conducted a qualitative study on the experience of student food insecurity. Merryn was an executive leader of the Federation of Students Food Bank from 2014-2016, and the social coordinator for the McMaster Student's Union Farmstand in 2011. Merryn is excited to support the voices of students in changing sustainable food access and availability on Canadian campuses.
Mariano is a Management Consultant Manager at Accenture with several years of financial services industry experience. Mariano works with the top banks executives across North America helping them overcome their challenge and find growth opportunities through innovation and transformation. Mariano holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto where he graduated with honors and was granted the scholar, teamwork and coaching awards. Mariano completed his Bachelor of Commerce in the Sauder School of Business at University of British Columbia. In the community, Mariano is passionate about youth development and reducing hunger in Canada. Before joining Meal Exchange, Mariano supported and led multiple youth leadership programs and other initiatives across several organizations such as YMCA, Right to Play and Sunnybrook Hospital.Visit his Linkedin profile for more information.
Anastasia works in Financial Analysis and Reporting in the Justice Sector in the Ontario Public Service. Anastasia is also a CPA Candidate. Having been involved in the McGill Food Systems Project and participated in the Redfish School of Change while doing her Bachelor of Commerce at McGill University, Anastasia is very interested in the ways in which institutional food procurement choices can shift the way Canada grows its food.
Darren is a recent graduate from the Commerce program at Queen’s University where he co-chaired the Queen’s Conference on Philanthropy. He is currently a Consultant at McKinsey & Company focusing predominantly on corporate and digital strategy, and has held internships at Mackenzie Investments, IBM and McKinsey & Company. Darren's passion for helping others started in 2000, when he founded his first of two national charities targeted at supporting Canada in its fight against food insecurity. Outside work and philanthropic endeavours, Darren is an avid cyclist and skydiver, a novice pianist and electronic music producer, and enjoys training for marathon and IRONMAN triathlon events.
Hayley Lapalme is a systems thinker and facilitator who has spent six years working with institutions and municipalities to create more resilient food systems. She is the Nourish Program Designer and Facilitator with the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. She has convened organic farmers in Barbados, social business leaders globally, and designed dozens of participatory workshops across Canada. Hayley has a head for complexity and leads with the aim for alignment between the things we believe and the things we practice. She holds a Master of Adult Education and Community Development from the University of Toronto