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Save On Meats launches sandwich token system to help feed Vancouver's poor
I've found a business that is doing just that - on the seedy, poverty stricken Downtown Eastside of Vancouver - the "poorest zip code" in Canada.
A good warm story - that will continue year-round.
Mark Brand wants to help feed the homeless one breakfast sandwich at a time.
Brand, the owner of Save On Meats at 43 West Hastings in Vancouver plans to unveil a program where people can purchase tokens to give to the homeless on the streets who are panhandling for money.
The token is good for a $2.25 breakfast sandwich at the popular restaurant in Vancouver’s gritty DowntownEastside.
“It is a neighborhood that desperately needs this,” Brand said on Wednesday of the plan.
The plastic token is the size of a toonie and the recipient can get a sandwich at the restaurant’s takeout window or inside after the window closes at 4 p.m.
Brand feels that by creating the tokens, it will help people who want to give to the less fortunate, but who are concerned that giving money may go toward drugs or alcohol.
“They are not transferable and they will never be traded for cash,” said Brand.
By giving the sandwich token to the poor, Brand feels it is giving them some nutrition for a day that is often out in the cold and wet. ”You can be confident they are getting something nutritious and filling,” he said.
Brand has had 10,000 tokens made to get the initiative off the ground. They can be purchased at the restaurant and in the next few months Brand plans to have a website set up to sell them online. People can also send an email to email@example.com to order the tokens.
Anti-poverty activists welcomed any help for the poor.
“Your heart goes out to people stepping up to help feed the homeless and the hungry,” said activist Bill Hopwood. ”I wish the government had one-tenth the heart.”
With government cutbacks, Hopwood said helping the downtrodden often is left to private enterprise. “Good on Save On Meats and all the other charities who help the homeless,” he said. “The vast majority of people on welfare just want food.”
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