It may seem counterintuitive to feature a butcher shop on Meatless Monday, but both are working towards making a difference through food. Save-On-Meats has been a Vancouver institution since 1957. Last year, new owner Mark Brand reopened the diner and butcher shop with the goal “to serve our entire city, regardless of neighborhood, income or budget.”
One of the biggest ways Save-On-Meats has empowered its community is by providing jobs, even employing formerly homeless people. The business aims to make fresh food accessible to the community with its subsidized sandwich window, where everything is around $2 to $5. Brand and his wife, Nico, empower the community to make food at home too, with classes in canning, cheesemaking, and sausage- and bacon-making. Save-On-Meats also runs a meal program and helps other local small businesses from its kitchen.
In addition, its community-sustaining business model was recently featured on the show Gastown Gamble on Oprah Winfrey’s network, OWN Canada.
Though it may seem odd that a bank produced this inspiring video, Vancity, Canada’s largest credit union, asserts a commitment to environmental and social responsibility as well. Are you encouraged to see a bank supporting local business, or does it lessen the impact of the story for you?
How do you think food can change a community?
A Boston native, Amy has worked in the film industry's social media space since 2008. As TakePart's Digital Community Coordinator, she combines her passion for social good with her knack for connecting ideas and people. Email Amy|@amyeicher