Burnaby restaurant helps feed kids

More than 20,000 kids have had a healthy meal thanks to a Burnaby restaurant.

Fortune House Seafood Restaurant was the first eatery in Burnaby to partner with Mealshare, a Vancouver-based charity that provides meals to kids through KidSafe and Breakfast Club of Canada, in Vancouver, and Save the Children Canada, which carries out life-saving and sustainable projects in countries in Africa.

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“Mealshare is all about using meals in a really strategic way to have long-term impacts on kids,” said Derek Juno, VP of business development for Mealshare.

But what do restaurants get out of the partnership?

Elaine Cheng, whose father, Jackie, owns Fortune House Seafood Restaurant at Metropolis at Metrotown, said she’s seen the family business take off since joining the program. She credits the increase in sales to her decision to make all the dessert items Mealshare items.

“Desserts are easy to order and they (customers) would probably want one per experience,” she said. “Ever since we’ve implemented that, our sales have gone up really high – like extremely high.”

Cheng and the team at Fortune House went one step further though. They developed a special dessert tied directly to Mealshare – the Happy Bun. The bun, also known as the emoji bun because of its smiling little face, is a play on a traditional Chinese dessert.

Cheng, who owns her own company Food Connections, first heard about Mealshare at an entrepreneur convention where she met Juno. He explained how the non-profit worked, and she knew it would be a good fit for Fortune House. Plus she knew her dad wouldn’t hesitate to jump on board.

“My dad is quite passionate about giving to social causes so I wanted to help the business thrive, … while being able to give Mealshare an immense amount of donations as well,” she said.

Last month, Fortune House sold its 20,000th Mealshare meal. Moving forward, Cheng would like to see more Burnaby businesses partner with Mealshare, and so would Juno and his team.

“There’s no extra cost, no extra action really needed for the diner, it’s just buy-on, get-one. It really is that simple,” he said.


What is Mealshare?

Mealshare is a buy-one, give-one hunger relief program that is supported by restaurants across the country. It was founded in 2013 in Vancouver. Currently, across Canada, there are more than 440 partner restaurants raising money for Mealshare.

How does Mealshare work? 

Restaurant owners sign up to be a Mealshare eatery and designate menu items as “Mealshare” meals. When customers order items with the Mealshare logo, proceeds from that item are donated to Mealshare, which in turn uses the profits to buy meals for kinds in need.

Who benefits?

Mealshare partners with local charities in each city it operates in, but they also have an international partner – Save the Children Canada. Half of the money raised feeds kids through local charities while the other half is donated to Save the Children Canada to feed kids in need around the world.  

For more information on Mealshare, visit www.mealshare.ca.

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