Winter 'Skip a Meal' Program Under Way

January 26, 2009 - News Release

After breaking a national record in the fall, Meal Exchange's "Skip a Meal" program returns for the winter semester, running until Feb. 6.

Members of the University community are encouraged to donate meal points or cash to the program. Donations go toward supporting 19 local organizations, including men and women’s shelters, food banks and drop-in centres.

"Skip a Meal" is concentrated in student residences this week, then will go campus-wide. Donations can be made at the marked tills at Centre Six, Prairie Cafeteria, Creelman Hall and — new this year — the OVC Café.

Meal Exchange volunteers will also be soliciting donations in selected classes. For students not on a meal plan, the Bullring and Meal Exchange are working together to collect cash donations.

"This will give some of the much-needed support to the one in five people currently going hungry in Guelph," said Jordan Thompson, U of G’s Meal Exchange education and promotions co-ordinator.

Guelph has taken part in "Skip a Meal" since 1997, contributing more than $260,000 worth of food. Last fall, U of G raised more than $26,000, the highest amount of any Canadian university or college in the 16 years the program has existed.

Meal Exchange is a national student-run organization that aims to engage students from 45 Canadian campuses in solving the problem of hunger in their communities. The Guelph chapter is managed by the Central Student Association.

In the fall 2008 semester, Meal Exchange Guelph collected more than $120,000 worth of food from its various programs and efforts.

Meal Exchange’s other programs include "Trick or Eat," which involves students going door-to-door on Halloween collecting food for the Guelph Food Bank.

The newest initiative, Twenty-Four for Hunger, was held Jan. 9. About 80 U of G students went without food for 24 hours, contributing the money they would have spent on food to the Onward Willow Breakfast Program. They also collected donations, raising more than $2,300, the biggest lump-sum donation the breakfast program has ever received. In addition, the students participated in workshops and engaged with guest speakers.

For media questions, Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, Ext. 53338,, or Barry Gunn, Ext. 56982,

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