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Students in 100 Canadian communities say ‘Trick or Eat’ to fight hunger this Halloween


Toronto, Ontario- Oct. 25, 2016 - On October 31st, thousands of post-secondary students, youth and adults will be Trick-or- Eating. Instead of candy, these volunteers will be raising awareness, food and funds to fight hunger this Halloween. Trick or Eat is organized by Meal Exchange, a national charity that supports campuses and local communities to build strong and healthy communities through food.


Trick or Eat means getting out of the university bubble and doing something good for the community. It means working with fellow students and being a part of a national event that is making an actual difference on a country-wide scale” says University of Western Ontario organizer Alex Prong.


With 4 million Canadians experiencing hunger and food banks struggling to meet demand, Trick or Eat seeks more than just food donations this year. The national Halloween food-drive encourages Canadians to raise their voice and make monetary donations at their doorstep in an effort to support long-term solutions needed for a country where every Canadian has access to healthy food.


On many university campuses, Trick or Eat is an opportunity to raise awareness about student food insecurity. “With rising tuition costs, especially in the case of international students, food and other basic needs are becoming more and more unattainable by our student community,” says UWaterloo Food Bank Coordinator, Chelsea Hillier who aims to raise 4000 pounds of food this Trick or Eat.  Hillier notes that “Trick or Eat is a way to reach out to all members of our community and make them aware of this issue.”


Meal Exchange’s Executive Director, Anita Abraham, organized the first University of Guelph Trick or Eat campaign 15 years ago. “Trick or Eat is an entry point for students to get further involved in their local community and contribute to a national conversation about ending food insecurity,” says Abraham.  Trick or Eat engaged 4,000 volunteers who raised $380,000 worth of food for 85 food agencies in 100 communities last year.  This year, the Meal Exchange hopes to have even more engagement.


For more information about Trick or Eat and hunger in Canada, please visit


About Meal Exchange

Meal Exchange is a national youth-driven, registered charity that engages, educates and mobilizes youth to work with their communities to alleviate hunger locally, achieve food security, and develop solutions that build just and sustainable food systems. For more information, visit


For further information or press inquiries, please contact:

Sarah Archibald

Program Manager, Meal Exchange

T. 647-970-2746

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





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



Trick or Eat is full of fun and surprises! This year, there are many sur-Prizes to be won by Trick or Eat fundraisers across the country. By fundraising you’ll be contributing to students working for long term solutions to ensure zero hunger in Canada, healthy communities, and a planet that is well cared for! The more you raise, the better your chances to win! Fundraising remains open until November 9th!

For every $25 you raise for Trick or Eat, you'll be entered into a draw for some of these awesome prizes!

2 House of Marley Bluetooth Speakers (Valued at $150)

Herschel Supply Co. Goods (Estimated at $300)

FoodSaver® 2-In-1 Vacuum Sealing System (Estimated $120)
Perfect for saving that summer harvest!

$50 Gift Certificate to Johnny's Seeds

10 Walrus Magazine Subscriptions (Valued at $30 each)

3M Prize Basket (Estimated at $100)

Check out our 5 tips to reach your fundraising goals and inspire others! Keep up the great work raising funds to help students end hunger across Canada


It's not often that you are able to reach out to extended family, friends and teachers to give them an update on you and ask them to support the great work you're doing. Creating your personal fundraising page for Trick or Eat is an opportunity to share your passions with your network and give them an opportunity to join your work.  

Though it might seem intimidating, a recent study found that 81% of donors don't mind being asked by a friend to donate to a cause they care about. That means that it's worth a shot! Here are a five tips to help reach your fundraising goals. 

Here are 5 tips to help you reach your fundraising goals, and build a strong community in the process! 

Be personal: Fundraising gives you a reason to connect with your friends and family and tell them what you care about. If you're reaching out to people you don't see that often (grandparents, old friends), it's a chance to update them about how you're doing and what you're thinking about. You can go as deep and be as real as you want, and write personalized messages to individuals or groups you've been wanting to reconnect with. Even if people don't donate, they'll appreciate having heard from you, and you'll have showed them you're thinking about them! 

Be confident: Often we think that people donate to our fundraising because they are doing us a favour-- we feel shy reaching out because we don't know if they'll respond to our request. However, You'll find that most people actually enjoy donating, it makes them feel good and useful, and they may thank you for it! Think of fundraising as an *opportunity* that you're giving your friends and family, a chance to invest in something they care about-- you, and the causes you care about! 

Be ambitious: A bigger goal is more likely to inspire than a small one, and people are really influenced by the target you put out. 

If you say you're trying to raise $25 and suggest a donation amount of $5, people will likely respond with donations of $10 and under until they've gotten you a little over your $25 goal.

If you say your goal is to raise $500 and suggest a donation amount of $50, responses will be more likely to fall between $20-100. Even if you don't reach this big goal, you'll get a whole lot more than $25! Don't worry about asking for too much, trust that people will give what's comfortable for them.

Be generous: Consider offering something back in return for donations. For example, a visit in the next year, or an offer of support on the projects your friends and family are working on themselves. Just be careful not to promise more than feels realistic for you to give-- when you're generous people respond generously too, but they'll still be giving because they care about you not because they want that reward, and they wouldn't want you to be stressed out about following through on your offer. 

Be you: Each of the recommendations above are important skills for lots of situations in life, but don't worry about being perfect at any of them. What's most valuable is trying and learning, and fundraising is a great opportunity for you to practice and stretch yourself out of your comfort zone just enough to grow. Also, fundraising is an asset that a lot of employers look for, so however it goes, you'll have good experience to talk about! 

Have a look at the email and letter that Dana used last year for an example of what putting these tips into action can look like, and what a difference they can make.