Blog posts tagged in National Student Food Summit

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After three years of connecting with the Meal Exchange network, Amy Brierly reflects on her experiences and shares how she'll continue to apply what she's learned in the future. 


When did you first connect with Meal Exchange?
The 2012 National Student Food Summit, right before I took on the role of Student Food Resource Coordinator at StFX. The National Student Food Summit was recommended to me by the past Student Food Resource Coordinator. The Summit was transformational. It helped me feel connected to something bigger and to know that students were making real changes on their campuses. The Summit helped to prepare and fuel me for my work on campus - I’ve gone back to the Summit every year since!

What are some of your accomplishments on your campus?
Each of the accomplishments achieved on campus were a group effort - made possible by a foundation built by my peers, community members, and the Meal Exchange network. The main accomplishment for me has definitely been building a better food system through collaboration. Through this collaboration we have seen many benefits, including the development of a Farmers’ Market on campus and moving the Student Food Resource Centre to a more accessible and welcoming space on campus.

How did connecting with Meal Exchange shape your university experience?
Meal Exchange has provided me with a safe space to share ideas and feel supported. The Meal Exchange network has helped me practice and shape my understanding of development, which is what I studied during my university career. Through my work with Meal Exchange, I’ve seen that as a student, my role extends far past the classroom and that I have the opportunity to make significant change on campus and within my community.

How will you continue food work into the future?
I was recently given a wonderful opportunity to be an OceanPath Fellow with the Pathy Family Foundation and Coady Institute. Through this fellowship I will be working with community groups in Antigonish who are working in the local food movement, specifically around a local food hub. I’m excited to hopefully bring what I’ve learned on campus into closer conversation with the larger movement and to collaborate on all sorts of initiatives with the community. My ties with St. FX will be important in this work, especially for supporting institutional procurement of local foods.

How would you like to continue to contribute to Meal Exchange in the future?
While I stay in Antigonish, I look forward to providing support to new student leaders, facilitate community connections, and stay in touch with the national office. Though I’m not sure what the future holds, I’d to continue to be apart of this movement indefinitely.

We wish Amy all the best in her next adventures and for her contributions to St. FX, Antigonish and the National Meal Exchange network.

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Meal Exchange staff, Sarah, had the good fortune of connecting with McGill Graduate Ansel Renner to discuss his university experience and plans for the future.


What was your first connection to Meal Exchange?
Ansel: I had heard about The National Student Food Summit from past McGill coordinators and attended in 2014. The Summit exceeded my expectations. I was struck by the diversity within the Meal Exchange network, both the students and speakers (geographically and perspectives).

What are some of your accomplishments on your campus?
Ansel: I have been involved in many aspects of food work throughout my university career. At the University of New Hampshire, my classmates and I convened local fisherfolk and chefs to build a successful market for dogfish - a local, abundant and affordable fish. At McGill, I have been involved in the development of a Campus Food Charter and in informing the discussion on food waste production and reduction across campus.

How did connecting with Meal Exchange shape your university experience?
Ansel: Throughout my university career, I have seen so many students sacrifice happiness for a potential “successful” job in the future. Meal Exchange has exposed me to so many students from across the country who are genuinely happy with their studies, lifestyles and are building amazing projects to ensure good food for all. Moreover, Meal Exchange has encouraged me to attend conferences, including ones by the Canadian Fair Trade Network, and Engineers Without Borders, which has ‘opened doors’ for me allowing for an incredibly enriching experience.

How will you continue this work in the future?

Ansel: I have always dreamed of being a chef, but seem to have forgotten this recently. This summer in Montreal, I will be training at a butcher heavily invested in locally and humanely sourced meats. I will also be learning from local bakers and chefs, while conducting research related to global food security. This will give me an opportunity to further apply what I have learned over my past few years. In the fall I will be continuing studies at the Autonomous University of Barcelona to study the Political (Ecological) Economy of Food Systems.

How would you like to continue to contribute to the food movement? 

Ansel: I am looking forward to sharing Meal Exchange’s work during my time in Europe. I have a lot to share and learn from others. I will also continue to be active in supporting students at McGill. We connect on Facebook, so I can give my support and insight no matter where I am!

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Position Title: Sponsorship Assistant
Terms of Employment: Part-Time (8 hours per week for approximately 16 weeks)
Salary: $15.00/hour
Anticipated Start Date: Week of January 13, 2014
Location: 401 Richmond Street West, Suite 365, Toronto, Ontario

Job Description:

Working out of the National Office in downtown Toronto (401 Richmond Street West), you will assist the Development Officer in the preparation and submission of sponsorship proposals (both financial and in-kind) for Trick or Eat and the National Student Food Summit.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Updating prospective sponsor database
  • Assisting in updating sponsorship packages
  • Managing outreach to potential sponsor organizations
  • Assisting in and preparing sponsorship reports


  • Great organizational skills to help complete tasks efficiently and on time with a strong attention to detail.
  • Proven ability to self-start, take initiative and engage in active learning in a team environment
  • Strong customer service skills - expressive and persuasive in both spoken and written communication
  • Interest in and knowledge of food security in Canada
  • Experience in fundraising and sponsorship coordination is an asset
  • Love of baked goods and ability to contribute to a good playlist


Please apply by submitting a covering letter and resume to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Wednesday, December 18th at 5:00pm.  

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b2ap3_thumbnail_b2ap3_thumbnail_planning-committee_20131126-142710_1.jpgIt’s hard to believe but the time has come to start planning for the 11th annual National Student Food Summit! Meal Exchange takes pride in creating a space where students and their like-minded peers are able to share experiences, thoughts, and ideas in pursuit of better food systems. Each year, a dedicated group of individuals known as the Planning Committee work to improve the Summit programming and overall delegate experience. The committee is made up of Meal Exchange staff, alumni, volunteers and past summit delegates, all with an interest in food issues and event planning.

Thanks to the amazing behind-the-scenes-work of past committees, we’ve experienced 10 successful years of the National Student Food Summit. This year we look forward to building upon the 2013 Summit with another strong committee of passionate leaders within the food movement.

Why join the 2014 Planning Committee?

  • It’s an extremely rewarding feeling to play a part in the positive experience people get from attending the Summit.
  • It’s a great opportunity to interact with a group of talented individuals, with different interests and skill sets all working towards a common goal.
  • Being a member of a planning committee for the National Student Food Summit is never a bad thing to put on your resume or bucket-list!

What are the commitments and expectations?

  • This is a working committee that will be responsible for executing on tasks such as marketing, content creation, and overall logistics.
  • Committee members are asked to commit approximately 8-10 hrs/month from January to August 2014.
  • Committee members are expected to participate in google+ hangouts on average twice a month (which will be an hour in length, weeknights anytime between 6pm and 9pm EST)

Who is eligible to join the committee?

  • Meal Exchange has an extensive network of campus youth, alumni, and volunteers who are all encouraged to submit an application.
  • If you are someone interested in working with Meal Exchange and has a passion for addressing food issues and/or event planning; we want to hear from you!

If this is an opportunity that feels right for you, click here to fill out the NSFS 2014 - Planning Committee Application Form [Submission Deadline - Monday, December 16th, 2013] 

Have a question that isn't answered here? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , and he'll help you out!