Buy some nutritious meals for those in need and make a tangible difference for people in your community.
Unfortunately, many Canadians have to face this question every day. And when you’re hungry, it’s hard to focus on anything else — wellness, housing or making big life decisions.
Together, we can empower people experiencing hunger, and foster well-being for community members currently struggling with food security.
Your donation will fund local, community-driven projects supported by A Better Life Foundation.
Meals served per year: 18,250
Megaphone is a monthly magazine sold on the streets of Vancouver and Victoria by homeless and low-income vendors. Vendors buy the paper for 75 cents and sell the magazine for $2. All money from the transaction goes into the pocket of the vendor.
Meals served per year: 600
The Binners' Project is a group of over 300 waste-pickers. Support staff and binners work together to create economic opportunities, and reduce the stigma binners face as informal recyclable collectors.
Meals served per year: 14,600
Due to recent funding loss, the Rainier Hotel is struggling to provide nutritious meals and other services to women in need. Save On Meats and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank are currently working together to establish a Community Kitchen project within Rainier.
Meals served per year: 10,400
The school breakfasts program is one of A Better Life Foundation’s core programs. The main goal is to meet people where their needs are — whether that’s by providing schools with raw produce, or cooked meals.
Meals served per year: 279,955
Non-profit Atira provides housing, advocacy and support to any individual who identifies as a woman. Save On Meats facilitates the making of 767 meals a day, and a bi-weekly cooking class, for those living in Atira's buildings.
Meals served per year: 2,080
The Vancouver Women’s Health Collective provides a safe and welcoming environment for women regardless of age, race, culture, religion or sexual identity. The collective’s mission is to value women's knowledge and to support one another to take charge of our own health.
Meals served per year: 18,250
The purpose of Lookout is to provide non-judgmental, non-sectarian services to adults and seniors who cope with a wide variety of challenges including: poverty, mental illness, substance abuse, mental/physical handicaps, chronic health problems (including HIV/Aids), legal issues or those simply unable to cope.
We provide Lookout’s Walton Facility on East Hastings Street with 50 meals/day.
Meals served per year: 4,260
Youth Unlimited offers a variety of services benefiting vulnerable young people aged 10 through 24 and offering support where it is often difficult to find. A Better Life Foundation provides a warm, nutritious meal to two of Youth Unlimited’s programs – an event encouraging participation in the arts and a mobile drop in centre that is able to travel to the communities where they are needed most, providing easy access to their much needed services.
Charlene is currently a volunteer at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, but has technically been retired for the last nine years, even though she spends 20- 25 hours a week doing community work! Upon retirement, Charlene moved to the Downtown Eastside, where she has been heavily involved in the local community.
Social justice issues have always been especially important to her, and upon hearing about Mark Brand, Charlene quickly found out that he was heavily involved in the community and social issues. Ever since then, Charlene says she has been involved with Mark Brand and Save On Meats. Charlene says that it’s not her that truly benefits from Save On Meats, but the people that she helps through the programs facilitated at SOM.
Through the Downtown Eastside Community Centre, Charlene does about three community kitchens a month, but her partnership with Save On Meats has allowed her to host different cooking classes for community members. In Charlene’s building of residence, she noticed that many young mothers had very limited cooking and nutritional knowledge, leading her to be concerned for many of their young children. She highly values nutrition, especially in the development of children, and decided to try and solve this issue she saw around her.
Save On Meats hosts Charlene and her cooking classes, especially for young mothers and individuals with low incomes. Charlene tells us that her whole basis is “Healthy meals, cheap. Simple as that. I try and make sure they get a complete meal, all the food groups and vitamins that they can. I sneak things in [my recipes] that they may not think they like, and after they eat it, they’re like ‘oh I did like that after all’. You just have to make things taste good! You gotta feed the local taste.”
Charlene focuses her recipes on the simplest items that can be found at a food bank or dollar store, to keep the cost down. She has began to master creating a nice meal for $2 - $3 per person, which is truly amazing! Charlene also avoids making many recipes on a stove, because many people she teaches simply do not have one. Many meals that Charlene teaches are cooked in electric frying pans or even slow cookers, which can easily be plugged into an electrical outlet. Charlene’s goal is to help low income individuals get some healthy meal ideas that they can replicate for themselves. She even helps individuals find deals at grocers in the DTES and No Frills, while teaching them how to use bulk items that they have received from food banks that they might not know how to use otherwise.
Charlene has made a significant impact to the lives of many DTES residents, and Save On Meats has certainly helped her achieve some of these successes. With Mark Brand after her to expand the programs, Charlene laughs and says she’s having trouble “finding the time” – this is no surprise with all the good she is doing in the DTES community and beyond.
Founded in 2012 by Mark Brand, A Better Life Foundation (ABLF) aims to empower those who are struggling with addictions and mental illness. By providing food security, education and employment training ABLF supports individuals, while strengthening the quality of community life in the Downtown Eastside.learn more