Catherine McKenna
Hon. Catherine McKenna
Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre

I believe Ottawa is a truly special place to call home, that’s why I started the social media campaign #OwnOurOttawa – to emphasize just how great our city is. This campaign is all about being proud of where we live and sharing what we can do to make it even better.

Over the past few months, I have met incredible not-for-profits, local businesses, festivals, volunteers, and residents who are inspiring others and creating real change right here in our community.

I’m going to be using this section of the website to highlight some of the awesome work that is being done.

Today, I am highlighting Mealshare, a local organization in Ottawa Centre who partners with local restaurants to help those in need.

Tell me a little bit about your organization/initiative.

A social enterprise launched in 2013, Mealshare partners with restaurants and designated charities in cities across Canada to provide meals for youth in need. For every Mealshare-branded menu item ordered at more than 30 participating Ottawa restaurants, one simple, healthy meal will be shared with youth struggling with homelessness or poverty through Ottawa-based charities Operation Come Home, which provides employment, education, and a support centre for homeless and at-risk youth age 16 and up, and the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa, which reaches out to children and youth each year through after-school, weekend and summer programs that build self-esteem and help to develop stronger social skills. Internationally, we share meals with Save the Children Canada. Since its inception, Mealshare has served more than 1.5 million meals to youth in need.

What do you do to #OwnOurOttawa?

We partner with amazing restaurants that care about supporting Ottawa’s youth in need, and incredible organizations that are supporting these youth with the tools they need to become the best possible versions of themselves. Together, we’re ensuring that the future of our community is bright and making strides towards ending youth hunger around the world.

Why do you think it’s important to #OwnOurOttawa?

We live in a beautiful city, and as the capital of Canada we serve as a global example of our country’s potential and capacity to effect real, lasting change in the lives of our citizens. When we #OwnOurOttawa, we are making sure our kids have the same opportunities to succeed, whether they come from middle-class families, are new immigrants, or are trying to break the cycle of poverty.

If someone wants to get involved or get more information, where can they go?

To help feed Ottawa’s youth in need, all you have to do is grab a Mealshare item at one of our partner restaurants! You can find the full list of our partners on our website at We’d love your help spreading the word on social media as well, so be sure to give us a follow at @MealshareYOW and @MealshareTeam on Twitter, Mealshare on Instagram and MealshareTeam on Facebook!

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