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A&W, Mealshare partner to fight youth hunger in Saskatchewan

WATCH: A&W and Mealshare have kicked off a partnership to help end youth hunger in Saskatchewan.

Buy a meal. Give a meal.

That’s the slogan behind Mealshare, a non-profit organization looking to end youth hunger.

READ MORE: Victoria Mealshare program turns dining out into meals for hungry children

Andrew Hall, one of the co-founders of Mealshare, was in Saskatoon on Tuesday to announce a new partnership with A&W to provide healthy meals to youth in need across Saskatchewan.

“For every meal bought and sold, the restaurant contributes to Mealshare and then we proved a meal to a youth in need through a network of partner charities,” Hall explained to Global News.

“Here in Saskatoon, we have the Saskatoon Food Bank. But then across the province, at any A&W in Saskatchewan, you’re really helping out your own community.”

A&W Canada CEO Susan Senecal said the company was inspired when it heard the work Mealshare was doing to fight youth hunger across the country.

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“To me, it is inconceivable that one in five children is actually food insecure, and we wanted to make a difference,” Senecal said.

“We loved the work Mealshare was doing and we loved the idea of buy one, give one as a concept.”

READ MORE: Mealshare charity expands into Winnipeg

Senecal said franchisees across the province were quick to say yes to the promotion.

“And so we were able to launch here in Saskatchewan,” Senecal said.

“We actually started yesterday (Monday) with the mushroom mozzarella combo as our meal share item. So when anyone buys one of these combos, a meal is given as well.”

Mealshare has served over 3.25 million meals since Hall and his cousin, Jeremy Bryant, started the non-profit six years ago.

“We’ve had a few hundred partner restaurants, a few hundred meals per month,” Hall said.

“Somehow that’s added up to over three million meals we’ve been able to provide to youth in need. It’s amazing to me that that number has happened.”

Senecal said A&W is committed to adding to that total.

“What I like about it is it’s local. Our franchisees and their staff and the whole team can really get involved,” Senecal said.

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“They can see what kind of causes Mealshare is supporting and they can actually roll up their sleeves and be part of the change.”

READ MORE: Canpotex helps boost Milk for Children program at Saskatoon Food Bank

Hall and Bryant started Mealshare in 2013 in partnership with two Calgary restaurants after deciding they wanted to give back to the community.

“We grew up together in Calgary and we were always taught as kids ‘finish your vegetables, finish your food, because there’s kids around the world that don’t have enough,’” Hall said.

“We want to keep growing. We’ll share until we live in a world where youth hunger doesn’t exist anymore.”

READ MORE: Saskatchewan has highest proportion of children using food banks: report

The A&W mushroom mozzarella combo promo to support Mealshare runs until Dec. 1 at participating restaurants across Saskatchewan.