When Carl wrote to us this year about joining Trick or Eat, we were instantly inspired. Carl has made Trick or Eat part of his Halloween celebrations since 2004. As a result of Trick or Eat, Halloween has become a place for Carl to develop his outlook on community building, volunteerism, and opportunities to change our food system.
Sarah Archibald, Program Manager at Meal Exchange had the opportunity to catch up with Carl and learn more about his Trick or Eat journey. Many thanks to Carl for sharing his time and insight with us all. If this story inspires you like it inspires us, you can support Carl’s Trick or Eat Campaign here!
SA: How did you get involved in Trick or Eat and what has your 11 year journey with Trick or Eat looked like?
CA: I first got involved with Trick or Eat in High School. One of our student council members had a sister who was participating in Trick or Eat at a University. We thought it would be a great way to contribute to our community as well. During my undergraduate degree, I participated in Trick or Eat both at Carleton and the University of Ottawa. Now, in my masters at the University of Guelph, I will be joining the Guelph Trick or Eat Campaign this year.
SA: Wow, this is quite the journey! What has inspired you to be involved each year?
CA: Trick or Eat is an opportunity to take action on what I’m learning about as a student. Trick or Eat has helped grow my passion about food security; it’s the reason I’m still in school, pursuing my masters. Trick or Eat is an incredible event as it is driven from the grassroots. It raises awareness about food insecurity in our own communities and gives students an opportunity to do something about it.
SA: As you know, unfortunately food insecurity has risen in Canada since 2004, how have you seen Trick or Eat change as well?
CA: I have seen the discussion on “food security” grow. There is a fuller discussion and research around the indicators of food security that include elements like access to culturally appropriate foods over just access to calories.
SA: We’re glad to see the amount of awareness around comprehensive views of Food Security grow, however we too are concerned that hunger continues to rise. How can Trick or Eat better respond to this need?
CA: Education is a key component to make the significant changes needed to end hunger. Trick or Eat provides a platform for peers to learn from each other. Students are also teachers and can help each other understand issues and share resources so that we can work better together.
SA: Carl, this has been inspirational! Do you have any advice for any folks interested in joining a Trick or Eat Campaign?
CA: Just do it, and bring your friends! Trick or Eat is an opportunity to connect with your community, meet new people, and have fun! There are many opportunities to volunteer in areas that you care about. Just go for it!
Carl is a Masters Student at the University of Guelph in Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics