Even though Vancouver made it to the list of top 10 worth living cities in the world, one existing problem here is homeless people. I’m in downtown fairly often, especially Gastown areas. I always want to help them getting some food, but I would never give homeless people money, because I don’t want them to spend it on drugs. Now I found a solution!
Save On Meats is a diner, a butcher shop, a retail store, a community commissary kitchen, and a social enterprise that resides right in the centre of the homeless community on Downtown Eastside (43 West Hasting street). They have developed a Token Program to support the homeless community. So how does it work: Customers can buy a token online or in-store at $2.25 through Save On Meats or a partner non-profit organization. This Meal Token can be given to a homeless person directly or via restaurant staff, and it can be redeemed for a nutritious Breakfast Sandwich at the Sandwich Window 7am-4pm or in the Diner 7am-10pm.
There is also a Sock Token program that Save On Meats rolled out last fall, to provide warmth and comfort and help protecting residents from injuries and infections.
That’s it! It’s easy, convenient, and it bridges the people that want to help and the people in need. I already have a token in my wallet. Next time I wouldn’t hesitate to hand out a token and start a conversation with a homeless person.
As a social enterprise, they are doing many more great things aside from this Token program. From food donation, to hiring people with barriers, to partnering up with non-profit organizations, to keeping affordable prices for the community. I admire that as a business, Save On Meats has done great social practices to support Downtown Eastside, their local community.