A few days ago on my way home I heard a quick segment on the radio about a new meal token campaign that Save On Meats has started. This wasn’t the first time I had heard of Save On Meats. They’re also the focus of a docu-series on the OWN network called Gastown Gamble. It’s a interesting show documenting the journey of entrepreneur Mark Brand and his team are taking to rebuild the business and help the community at the same time.
Save On Meats has been in East Vancouver since 1957 serving as a butcher shop and lunch counter until it closed its doors in 2008. In 2010, Mark started to rebuilt the business and has been working on bringing his vision to life.
Mark’s a business man but he’s also running socially responsible enterprise. His business is located in one of Canada’s poorest neighborhoods, the Downtown Eastside. The area is known for a high incidence of poverty, drug use, sex trade, crime, violence, but it also as a long history of community activism. In an effort to help the community and do their part, they have created a meal token program to help feed the poor by making it easier for people to donate to those in need by providing them with a meal token rather than change or cash.
“The reality is that people are hesitant to give money rather than food to people who they see on the street. With the Meal Tokens, donors can rest assured that what they give will be going towards providing much needed sustenance and at the same time, supporting Save on Meats’ social enterprise. People can choose to distribute them directly, or purchase the tokens and have Save on Meats give them to one of its dozens of community partners to share amongst their organization. The program acts as a bridge between people who want to give and people who need the support.”
Meal tokens cost $2.25 each and are redeemable for a breakfast sandwich.
- Save On Meats launches sandwich token system to help feed Vancouver’s poor (theprovince.com)
- Eatery owner has plan to help feed homeless (thisoldtoad.com)
- Save on Meats gets a ‘yes’ from Arlene Dickinson (blogs.vancouversun.com)
- Save on Meats subject of CBC’s Big Decision (blogs.vancouversun.com)