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Victoria Mealshare program turns dining out into meals for hungry children

Click to play video: 'Mealshare turns dining out into meals for hungry children' Mealshare turns dining out into meals for hungry children
WATCH: Today's Global News Hour at 6 Health Matters is brought to you by Pharmasave.A program many people aren't aware of can turn the experience of dining out into a meal for a hungry child. Kylie Stanton reports – Nov 12, 2018

Fifteen Victoria-area restaurants are taking part in a program to help feed kids in need.

“It’s very simple — buy one, give one,” Mealshare Community Leader Lori Elder said.

“Customer comes in, they purchase that Mealshare item, it doesn’t cost them any more, they get their meal just like normal and they’ve provided a meal to a local youth in need.”

READ MORE: Everyday Hero: Mealshare on pace to serve 1 million meals to youth in need

Floyd’s Diner was one of the first restaurants to participate. So far, it has been hugely popular with customers.

“There’s three menu items that have Mealshare on them,” general manager Emily Schlagintweit said.

WATCH: Mealshare nears 1 million meals for youth in need

Click to play video: 'Everyday Hero: Mealshare nears 1 million meals for youth in need' Everyday Hero: Mealshare nears 1 million meals for youth in need
Everyday Hero: Mealshare nears 1 million meals for youth in need – May 27, 2016

“So whenever someone orders one of those, we donate a meal to someone in need. People really enjoy coming back for those three items.”

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Cities are participating right across the country. In Victoria, there have been 228,990 meals shared, 593,005 in Vancouver, more than 608,000 in Calgary and roughly 171,000 in Toronto.

READ MORE: Buy one, donate one: Mealshare charity expands into Winnipeg

The money collected goes directly to the Breakfast Club of Canada, a volunteer program working in 1,600 schools across Canada, giving students access to a healthy breakfast every morning.

But the demand only keeps growing. There are nearly 500 schools on the waitlist.

In 2016, president and founder Daniel Germain said, “We want to make sure that by feeding them in a public place at school, we give them an access to their own dream and to break the circle of poverty.”

You can find participating restaurants, or donate to Mealshare here.

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