Mercedes Messinger, owner of Messinger Meats Artisan Butcher & Bistro in Red Deer, sits in her office Tuesday afternoon, just a few days before the official launch of a fundraising lunch program that will support various charities throughout 2020. Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff

Red Deer business supporting charities throughout 2020

A Red Deer business is raising money and awareness for a dozen central Alberta charities.

Each month in 2020, Messinger Meats Artisan Butcher & Bistro will donate $2 of every lunch purchased on Thursdays to a not-for-profit charity.

“Not everyone is capable of attending galas or paying $100 for a ticket,” said bistro owner Mercedes Messinger.

“People are tight with money and they maybe don’t want to spend or donate, because they can’t. So by doing this, I can have the ordinary Red Deerian help without spending an extra cent.

“They come out and eat and I’m giving the $2.”

Each month one of the pre-selected 12 charities will be randomly chosen.

Raising awareness for the participating charities is just as important as raising money, Messinger said.

“I feel like we all will know the names of these organizations, but we don’t really know in depth that they are doing,” she said.

“I’m not even sure how much I’ll raise (each Thursday). Say, we sell 70 lunches, that’s $140 a week. It’s not like this is going to be thousands of dollars, but it’s more than it was before.”

The monthly charity will have a representative at Messinger Meats during lunchtime on Thursdays to educate customers about the organization.

Messinger said she’s also hoping to find a sponsor to double the total donation at the end of the month.

The idea of raising awareness for various charities came to Messinger when she was at the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce’s business of the year awards in October.

A representative from the Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre was speaking after winning the award in the not-for-profit category.

“I was listening to her, fascinated, and then she said, ‘We also provide housing for the mothers.’ I said, ‘What the heck, how could I not know this?’

“That sort of stuck with me and I thought we have to get the word out for charities like this,” said Messinger.

The charities participating are expected to be announced this Friday.

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