Blog posts tagged in Chapter Network

We're happy to share an update from the University of Manitoba Meal Exchange Chapter Coordinator, Abigail! 


Dear Friends and Colleagues at Meal Exchange,

We are happy to share the recent activities CFSG has been involved with at the University of Manitoba

Farmers' Market Visit


This June, in collaboration with the Office of Sustainability and UofM Students’ Union Community Garden, we were able to host a bike ride to St. Norbert Farmer’s Market. There are a variety of interesting and unique products sold at the market, but the best part about it is the opportunity to meet local farmers from Manitoba and learn about their efforts to maintain food sustainability.


 Umanitoba Food Website

Online Foodie Hub

We are also glad to share that CFSG is in the process of launching its official website by August 2015. We would like to thank other coordinators for sharing their experiences in website development with us. The purpose of our website will be to provide a central hub of information for students who want to learn more about sustainable food practices at the UofM. It will feature an about section, activities and events section, and a resources (including food venues, courses on food, food map, research, and nutrition/recipes) section." 



Meal Exchange student leaders from the University of Calgary’s annual Hunger Week brought many inspiring events to raise awareness for food security on campus and in their community. With the theme of “Feeding the Body, Mind, and Soul” in mind, events like workshops and panel discussions examined food’s role in all aspects of health. Jesse Stanich, Co-Coordinator at Meal Exchange Calgary took some time to speak with Tim Li, Meal Exchange Communications Volunteer, on their exciting week.

Tim: What were some of the highlights of Hunger Week?

Jesse: Some of the highlights were handing out of snack packs at the beginning of the week and our event called "Views from the Loft", where we discussed the interconnected and cultural considerations of food. The buzz created by the snack pack event is always a good starting point to the week as we handed out information regarding the other events. Students also got a chance to voice their opinions on current food issues.

Tim: How did the students and faculty respond to and engage with the events?

Jesse: While there is room for improvement on the attendance frontier, I felt that individuals who attended the events got an excellent experience. Our staff at the Centre for Community-Engaged Learning and the Leadership and Student Engagement program were very engaged in the events and helped advertise them greatly.

Tim: What inspired this year's theme, “Feeding the Body, Mind and Soul” ?

Jesse: The Student Union Wellness Centre inspired much of our theme for this year. All events were shaped around their seven dimensions of wellness - physical, academic, mental, financial, social/cultural, environmental, and spiritual. Mental health is an increasingly important issue being raised on campus, and much of the inspiration for holistic wellness came from the desire to incorporate other aspects of wellness beyond the physical.

Tim: Could you tell me about the Hamper Project?

Jesse: The Hamper Project challenges 3 students to spend the week with different food restrictions to experience what it is like to have limited food access on campus. This year, 3 students ate exclusively halal, gluten/lactose free, or from the student food bank. It brought about a moment of realization for those who have little to no dietary restrictions. Being limited on campus in terms of food can be a large disadvantage in terms of diversity and availability of food in general. One of the biggest moments of the panel discussion in my opinion was when one of our biggest Halal advocates informed us that progress had been stopped in terms of bringing a larger diversity of Halal food to our Campus. This showed how even awareness and advocacy is sometimes not enough to bring about change; we need more real solutions to these problems if they have been raised.

Read more on the Hamper Project student experience here

Interested in starting a hunger week initiative on you campus? Contact your local Meal Exchange chapter or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Donating to Meal Exchange helps make hunger awareness events and other important work possible.

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2013 has been a banner year for Meal Exchange’s Chapter Network. The chapter year formally kicked off during Meal Exchange’s Marvelous March campaign, which saw our chapters run events related to hunger awareness and food security in and throughout the month of March. These events included chapters like Acadia and St. FX running their Skip-a-Meal events, the University of Calgary and the University of Guelph’s Hunger Awareness Week, and other food drives, bake sales, and workshops on campuses across the country.

The chapter Trick or Eat campaign also brought in some tremendous results. From UBC to Acadia, the chapter network helped to raise $215,420 worth of food to support community food banks across the country. This fall also means that Meal Exchange has been able to welcome three new chapters to the fold. We’re proud to announce that we’ve started up chapters at Mount Saint Vincent University, Simon Fraser University, and the University of the Fraser Valley. We’re quite excited by what we’ve seen so far, and we can’t wait to see what next year brings.

A Chapter Story

Stephanie McGlashan, an executive at Acadia Meal Exchange, shared her thoughts on the past semester, plans for 2014, and why she's a part of Meal Exchange.

StephanieIn the fall semester, we ran the annual Trick or Eat food drive event. Trick or Eat is certainly one of the largest and most involved events throughout the year, collaborating between the Acadia Students and broader Wolfville community as a whole. The outcomes of the event are incredible, providing the food bank with a generous amount of food for local families while also strengthening a sense of community within Wolfville and neighbouring towns. The event demonstrates the level of care and dedication both by the students and the community members, striving to help those who truly need the support. The networking and relationship-building aspect of the event is incredible and is what makes the event possible. I truly value the relationships built through Trick or Eat and am grateful to have met the many supportive an inspiring individuals along the way.

Next semester, we are hoping to incorporate the Stomach This Workshops, reaching out to elementary schools in order to bring awareness to local hunger issues, the implications involved, and ways in which to demonstrate support in your community!

My involvement with Meal Exchange is driven by several factors, primarily with the interest to make a difference locally, helping in any way possible to diminish hunger. Moreover, I hope to inspire others to become engaged in their community, expanding the vision and building support networks to effectively implement change.

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The 2013-2014 semester has been going exceptionally well for Meal Exchange's Chapter Network from coast to coast. Most campus chapters participated in their various university and college orientation campaigns, and have recruited a strong team of volunteers to help with their Trick or Eat and other event planning. Although Trick or Eat remains the focus for the chapter network over the next few weeks, chapters are already beginning to plan events for the rest of the school year, including presenting StomachThis! workshops, Hunger Awareness events in March 2014, and some new and exciting programs that we can't wait to profile.

This year also saw two new chapters join the Meal Exchange family. We're excited to announce the formation of Meal Exchange chapters at Simon Fraser University and Mount Saint Vincent University. Stay tuned to the chapter network space for more updates from all of our chapters.

Finally, to students who are interested in bringing Meal Exchange work to their own campus, we're always on the lookout for new chapters and chapter leaders. If you're interested in becoming a part of Canada's next generation of student food leaders on your campus, you should This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. !

PS - That's a picture of Meal Exchange's Dalhousie chapter recruiting students for Trick or Eat!