meal token program that has seen some success in Vancouver, The Star reports, but not everyone is enamoured with the concept.">

Toronto chef wants to help feed the homeless, to the chagrin of some


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Rodney Bowers helps a young customer at Hey! on Roncesvalles

Chef Rodney Bowers wants to help feed some of Toronto’s underprivileged residents by implementing a meal token program that has seen some success in Vancouver, The Star reports, but not everyone is enamoured with the concept.

The program works like this: tokens are purchased and then donated to those in need; the tokens can then be redeemed for wholesome food. The idea is to allow people to give to the less fortunate without worrying that the money will be spent on drugs or alcohol.

Bowers — of Hey Meatball! and Hey! fame — is going to meet with the founder of the Vancouver program, Mark Brand, to discuss setting it up here. In Vancouver, tokens are sold for $2.25 and are exchanged for fresh sandwiches.

Detractors — and they do exist, apparently— say that the tokens are insulting. Amanda Montgomery of The Stop Community Food Centre told The Star that the idea of tokens “feels undignified.”

Sure, we get that homeless people should feel like they can be trusted with money, but really, what’s more undignified, getting a food token or not eating for the day?

[Toronto Star]

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