UBCO students raise funds for food banks with Smart Meals

Seniors Daily Exercise

A group of UBC Okanagan students are hoping to save the planet, one meal at a time.

The students, working under the university’s Enactus program, have reinitiated Smart Meals—a program where people raise money for food banks while buying items from sustainable, plant-based restaurants and merchants.

The students have teamed up with a number of establishments, the newest being the Vegetarian Butcher a plant-based grocery and deli in Kelowna. When a smart meal is purchased from the business, the owner then contributes money to the Central Okanagan Food Bank. The pilot project in December raised more than $230 for the food bank with 115 holiday meals purchased. This month, all smart salads purchased at the Vegetarian Butcher will raise additional funds for the food bank.

“This is more of a social movement than it is about fundraising,” says Mohana Rambe, a third-year Faculty of Management student. “We are raising money, but we’re doing it passively. People are buying a product they want from a client-friendly business, and that business is supporting us by making the donation.”

Rambe became involved with the Smart Donate project last summer through an undergraduate research award from the Regional Socio-Economic Development Institute of Canada.

Smart Meals comes out of the Smart Donate project curated by Dr. Eric Li, an associate professor in the Faculty of Management. The Smart Donate project, explains Li, aims to create an ecosystem connecting local businesses and community members with charities and non-profit organizations through a digitally-integrated platform.

Read the full story here: UBC Okanagan News