National Staff

 Anita has spent her career determined to address our most pressing social challenges and believes in the transformative power of young people to create positive change. She has worked on university campuses over the last decade, including at Social Innovation Generation (SiG@Waterloo), a national collaborative addressing Canada’s social and ecological challenges by creating a culture of continuous social innovation. When she was a student at the University of Guelph, Anita led the Meal Exchange chapter to break national records and engage hundreds of students. She holds a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies and a Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation.

Anita has spent her career determined to address our most pressing social challenges and believes in the transformative power of young people to create positive change. She has worked on university campuses over the last decade, including at Social Innovation Generation (SiG@Waterloo), a national collaborative addressing Canada’s social and ecological challenges by creating a culture of continuous social innovation. When she was a student at the University of Guelph, Anita led the Meal Exchange chapter to break national records and engage hundreds of students. She holds a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies and a Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation.

Anita Abraham
Executive Director
anita@mealexchange.com
416 657 4489 ext. 1

Matt was trained as a teacher and firmly believes that social change is best achieved through the power of young people and education. He has spent the past several years as a community builder and campaigner, working on issues of food security, social inclusivity, and civil liberties. Matt holds degrees in theatre, teaching, and has recently completed an MBA, where he focused on health service management and policy development. He has learned from his experiences as an educator, healthcare professional, and activist that food is central to community well-being and mobilization. Matt is excited to share his experiences to help students build just and sustainable food systems on campus

Matt Currie
Campaign, Chapters & Communications Coordinator
chapters@mealexchange.com
416 657 4489 ext. 2

 Merryn became engaged with food insecurity while volunteering at food banks in the North end of Hamilton and was inspired by the 'Code Red' studies conducted at McMaster University. She graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2016 with an MSc in Public Health and Health Systems, where she conducted a qualitative study on the experience of student food insecurity. Merryn volunteers her time with Food Secure Canada's Youth Caucus and the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council. She is excited to support the voices of students in changing good food access and availability on Canadian campuses.

Merryn became engaged with food insecurity while volunteering at food banks in the North end of Hamilton and was inspired by the 'Code Red' studies conducted at McMaster University. She graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2016 with an MSc in Public Health and Health Systems, where she conducted a qualitative study on the experience of student food insecurity. Merryn volunteers her time with Food Secure Canada's Youth Caucus and the Toronto Youth Food Policy Council. She is excited to support the voices of students in changing good food access and availability on Canadian campuses.

Merryn Maynard
Program & Operations Coordinator
merryn@mealexchange.com
416 657 4489 ext. 2

 Celia first became passionate about food when she learned to garden with her mother as a child. Now, an avid gardener, fisher, hunter and preserver, she engages with the food system in as many ways as possible. Celia began volunteering with Meal Exchange in 2011, and transitioned from her volunteer position into a full-time job with Vancouver Island University after finishing her undergraduate degree. She has learned from farmers and seed savers around the world, and she is passionate about continuing to learn how to transform our world through the food we grow, eat and share.

Celia first became passionate about food when she learned to garden with her mother as a child. Now, an avid gardener, fisher, hunter and preserver, she engages with the food system in as many ways as possible. Celia began volunteering with Meal Exchange in 2011, and transitioned from her volunteer position into a full-time job with Vancouver Island University after finishing her undergraduate degree. She has learned from farmers and seed savers around the world, and she is passionate about continuing to learn how to transform our world through the food we grow, eat and share.

Celia White
Good Food Challenge Coordinator
celia@mealexchange.com
416 657 4489 ext. 2

 Sarah loves exploring how insects, plants and humans can work together. She graduated from McGill University with a degree in Ecological Agriculture and Global Food Systems. She learned from the wisdom of food gathers and growers in seven countries and many nations across Turtle Island. Sarah was co-coordinator of the McGill Food Systems Project, an intern at Local Food Plus and a data analyst at the Global Crop Diversity Trust in Rome, where she collaborated with farmers from 84 countries. Sarah was a Food Secure Canada Board Member from 2013-2016, bringing young voices to a national policy level. She loves the diversity and strength of the Meal Exchange network and can be found planning our programs including the National Student Food Summit and Trick or Eat, connecting with our partners and finding new opportunities for the organization.  

Sarah loves exploring how insects, plants and humans can work together. She graduated from McGill University with a degree in Ecological Agriculture and Global Food Systems. She learned from the wisdom of food gathers and growers in seven countries and many nations across Turtle Island. Sarah was co-coordinator of the McGill Food Systems Project, an intern at Local Food Plus and a data analyst at the Global Crop Diversity Trust in Rome, where she collaborated with farmers from 84 countries. Sarah was a Food Secure Canada Board Member from 2013-2016, bringing young voices to a national policy level. She loves the diversity and strength of the Meal Exchange network and can be found planning our programs including the National Student Food Summit and Trick or Eat, connecting with our partners and finding new opportunities for the organization.  

Sarah Archibald
Special Projects Coordinator
sarah@mealexchange.com
 

 
 

Summer Students

 
 Jaimie entered the nutrition field from a science-based background, but quickly grew to realize she was most passionate in understanding peoples’ relationships to food and their impact on health, as well as learning how these relationships are shaped by systemic forces. Jaimie has been working with Meal Exchange on the Students Feeding Change project since December and has found the opportunity to advocate for equity on campus both exciting and humbling. She is entering her final year of Ryerson’s Food and Nutrition program and will also be completing a certificate program in studies of food security. In her spare time, Jaimie loves to run, cook, explore Toronto by bicycle, teach swimming, and volunteer in community-based food programs.

Jaimie entered the nutrition field from a science-based background, but quickly grew to realize she was most passionate in understanding peoples’ relationships to food and their impact on health, as well as learning how these relationships are shaped by systemic forces. Jaimie has been working with Meal Exchange on the Students Feeding Change project since December and has found the opportunity to advocate for equity on campus both exciting and humbling. She is entering her final year of Ryerson’s Food and Nutrition program and will also be completing a certificate program in studies of food security. In her spare time, Jaimie loves to run, cook, explore Toronto by bicycle, teach swimming, and volunteer in community-based food programs.

Jaimie White

Students Feeding Change Coordinator

 

Student Researchers

 Andrea is a student at the University of Toronto completing a practicum placement with Meal Exchange. She is passionate about the rights of precarious workers and will be conducting research designed to assist in better understanding the issues that Temporary Foreign Agricultural Workers face in Canada while they grow the food that is served and consumed on post-secondary campuses. 

Andrea is a student at the University of Toronto completing a practicum placement with Meal Exchange. She is passionate about the rights of precarious workers and will be conducting research designed to assist in better understanding the issues that Temporary Foreign Agricultural Workers face in Canada while they grow the food that is served and consumed on post-secondary campuses. 

Andrea Dimiskovska

Good Food Researcher

 Carly is a community-based researcher and health activist who is passionate about environmental, food, and reproductive justice. She has spent the last two years contributing to the Real Food Challenge as a Co-Lead on Food Sovereignty, Lead on Health & Sustainable Seafood, and Position Paper Lead. Originally from Manitoba, she recently completed her MPH in Indigenous Public Health after an undergraduate degree in Gender Studies and Indigenous Studies in her undergraduate degree. Carly currently works as the Data & Evaluation Officer at the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation, as well as volunteering as a doula and  sexual health educator with a variety of community-based organizations. She was recently recognized by Starfish Canada as one of Canada's Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 for her work as an environmental educator, and sits on the Board of Directors of Learning for Sustainable Futures. Carly follows in a line of quilters, gardeners, and bakers, and also loves to get nerdy about science fiction and urban agriculture.

Carly is a community-based researcher and health activist who is passionate about environmental, food, and reproductive justice. She has spent the last two years contributing to the Real Food Challenge as a Co-Lead on Food Sovereignty, Lead on Health & Sustainable Seafood, and Position Paper Lead. Originally from Manitoba, she recently completed her MPH in Indigenous Public Health after an undergraduate degree in Gender Studies and Indigenous Studies in her undergraduate degree. Carly currently works as the Data & Evaluation Officer at the Dr. Peter AIDS Foundation, as well as volunteering as a doula and  sexual health educator with a variety of community-based organizations. She was recently recognized by Starfish Canada as one of Canada's Top 25 Environmentalists Under 25 for her work as an environmental educator, and sits on the Board of Directors of Learning for Sustainable Futures. Carly follows in a line of quilters, gardeners, and bakers, and also loves to get nerdy about science fiction and urban agriculture.

Carly Welham

Good Food Researcher

 Christopher is an International Business Management student at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland. He participated in a Research Project for Meal Exchange when spending a year studying at St Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia. The opportunity arose as part of a community service learning project. He works as part of an international team, in order to provide Meal Exchange with insight into how other countries approached food policy in comparison to Canada.

Christopher is an International Business Management student at Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland. He participated in a Research Project for Meal Exchange when spending a year studying at St Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia. The opportunity arose as part of a community service learning project. He works as part of an international team, in order to provide Meal Exchange with insight into how other countries approached food policy in comparison to Canada.

Christopher Robertson

Good Food Researcher

 Farhana is a doctoral student at the University of Toronto and is involved with Meal Exchange as a student researcher. She is passionate about creating more socially-just food systems and will be conducting research that will assist in better understanding the impact of provincial laws on the conditions and needs of temporary foreign migrant workers in Canada.

Farhana is a doctoral student at the University of Toronto and is involved with Meal Exchange as a student researcher. She is passionate about creating more socially-just food systems and will be conducting research that will assist in better understanding the impact of provincial laws on the conditions and needs of temporary foreign migrant workers in Canada.

     Farhana Islam

Good Food Researcher

 Sarah spends her days growing food on a biodynamic farm in southern Ontario. She moves from the fields, with dirt under her fingernails, to the keyboard to work on the Good Food Challenge position papers. Sarah has a deep passion for and interest in supporting and growing healthy food systems. She loves planting seeds, digging into soils, watching cabbage plants catch droplets of water, and the smell of tomatoes blooming. She started volunteering with the Good Food Challenge in the summer of 2017, and transitioned to a research and writing position that autumn.

Sarah spends her days growing food on a biodynamic farm in southern Ontario. She moves from the fields, with dirt under her fingernails, to the keyboard to work on the Good Food Challenge position papers. Sarah has a deep passion for and interest in supporting and growing healthy food systems. She loves planting seeds, digging into soils, watching cabbage plants catch droplets of water, and the smell of tomatoes blooming. She started volunteering with the Good Food Challenge in the summer of 2017, and transitioned to a research and writing position that autumn.

Sarah Clement

Good Food Researcher

 Angel Espat Is a third-year International student from Belize pursuing a degree in Accounting at St. Francis Xavier University. He became involved with Meal Exchange due to the service learning project that has been implemented in the Business curriculum. Angel aspires to achieve his goal of becoming a CPA thus returning back to Belize and take over the family business. In addition to business, Angel has another goal in mind that happens to be the main reason he gravitated towards this specific research: sustainable food development. Angel wants to do much more than just taking over a business when he returns to his home country, he wants to make an impact in every school at every level, food wise. End hunger and achieve food security and nutrition starting with students. Hopefully as time progresses he will be able to promote sustainable agriculture in his country.

Angel Espat Is a third-year International student from Belize pursuing a degree in Accounting at
St. Francis Xavier University. He became involved with Meal Exchange due to the service
learning project that has been implemented in the Business curriculum. Angel aspires to
achieve his goal of becoming a CPA thus returning back to Belize and take over the family
business. In addition to business, Angel has another goal in mind that happens to be the main
reason he gravitated towards this specific research: sustainable food development. Angel wants
to do much more than just taking over a business when he returns to his home country, he
wants to make an impact in every school at every level, food wise. End hunger and achieve food
security and nutrition starting with students. Hopefully as time progresses he will be able to
promote sustainable agriculture in his country.

Angel Espat

Good Food Researcher

 Yasmin is a visual artist and academic. Both her research and projects focus on the intersection of art, education and social justice. She is a current PhD candidate at the University of Toronto where she conducts research and teaches courses on contemporary literature and film. She is an active participant in community engaged learning programs at the university and is currently conducting research for Meal Exchange on labor conditions for Temporary Foreign Agricultural Workers in Canada. The work with Meal Exchange has already inspired her new art project on land and new ideas for a community engaged syllabus with a focus on food and food justice. Community Arts have led Yasmin to the Regent Park Film Festival where she is a current member of the 2017 programing committee.

Yasmin is a visual artist and academic. Both her research and projects focus on the intersection of art, education and social justice. She is a current PhD candidate at the University of Toronto where she conducts research and teaches courses on contemporary literature and film. She is an active participant in community engaged learning programs at the university and is currently conducting research for Meal Exchange on labor conditions for Temporary Foreign Agricultural Workers in Canada. The work with Meal Exchange has already inspired her new art project on land and new ideas for a community engaged syllabus with a focus on food and food justice. Community Arts have led Yasmin to the Regent Park Film Festival where she is a current member of the 2017 programing committee.

Yasmin Aly

Good Food Researcher

 Abdullah is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History and the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto, and holds an MA in Jewish Studies from McGill University. Although his research looks at relations between Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the medieval Mediterranean, Abdullah became interested in sustainable and ethical food practices after the birth of his daughters. He now enjoys teaching his young charges about how and where food is produced and the many steps food takes to get to our tables. He has just recently begun volunteering with Meal Exchange through the University of Toronto’s Community-Engaged Learning program, and is interested in how current food policy, access to healthy food, and economic issues, might affect young adults and future generations. When not busy with his family or cats, he spends his time reading and boardgaming.

Abdullah is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History and the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto, and holds an MA in Jewish Studies from McGill University. Although his research looks at relations between Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the medieval Mediterranean, Abdullah became interested in sustainable and ethical food practices after the birth of his daughters. He now enjoys teaching his young charges about how and where food is produced and the many steps food takes to get to our tables. He has just recently begun volunteering with Meal Exchange through the University of Toronto’s Community-Engaged Learning program, and is interested in how current food policy, access to healthy food, and economic issues, might affect young adults and future generations. When not busy with his family or cats, he spends his time reading and boardgaming.

Abdullah Farooqi

Good Food Researcher

 My name is Miguel Alvarez and I am originally from Mexico, a business student, I am currently doing an exchange at St. Francis Xavier University, one of my goals is to know different cultures to learn the best of them to take them to my country to improve it, in my country recently founded my own artisan liquor company, in which I seek to support the national product of my country, as well as the people who work the land. I believe that we should all look for a positive impact towards our environment, and through the innovation and creation of strategies that seek to improve or end the problems that exist in our country, we can achieve it.

My name is Miguel Alvarez and I am originally from Mexico, a business student, I am currently doing an exchange at St. Francis Xavier University, one of my goals is to know different cultures to learn the best of them to take them to my country to improve it, in my country recently founded my own artisan liquor company, in which I seek to support the national product of my country, as well as the people who work the land. I believe that we should all look for a positive impact towards our environment, and through the innovation and creation of strategies that seek to improve or end the problems that exist in our country, we can achieve it.

Miguel Alvarez

Good Food Researcher

 

Board of Directors