Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson and Rideau-Goulbourn Ward Councillor Scott Moffatt presented the Mayor’s City Builder Award to Sanchit and Riya Gupta at City Council today, in recognition of their efforts to establish a sustainable food system and combat food waste.

The Guptas established a chapter of MealCare, a non-profit organization that aims to combat food waste, in Ottawa. Working with local restaurants, university cafeterias and grocery stores, the Guptas take in surplus food, and, with the help of fellow volunteers, redirect it to shelters and soup kitchens where it is needed most.

Mr. Gupta founded the first MealCare chapter at McGill University in Montreal and there are now three chapters on university campuses across Canada. Mr. Gupta manages the MealCare national team and is a mentor for new chapters. Since its start in 2016, MealCare has distributed more than 10,000 meals to those in need and have saved $50,000 for partner homeless shelters.

The Mayor’s City Builder Award is a civic honour created to recognize an individual, group or organization that, through outstanding volunteerism or exemplary action, has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to making our city a better place today and for the future. This may include lifelong service, outstanding acts of kindness, inspiring charitable work, community building or other exemplary achievements.

Individuals, groups or organizations may be nominated by members of City Council or the public.

The award is presented at the beginning of each City Council meeting.