Coalition for Healthy School Food members have often been told by MPs that Budget 2019 included a commitment to school food because coalition members across Canada let the Finance Committee know we wanted action. Read more here about our 2018 deputations.
Summary of Coalition’s Pre-Budget 2022 Submission:
The Coalition for Healthy School Food recommends that the Government of Canada:
Allocate $1 billion over five years in Budget 2022 and collaborate with provinces and territories to provide them with an initial $200 million as soon as possible to fund their existing school food programs.
Invest an additional $200 million from pre-allocated infrastructure funding in a separate School Food Fund grants program that would provide infrastructure and capacity building funding to schools or community organizations that provide programs in schools.
Enter into discussions with Indigenous Nations and leaders to negotiate separate agreements for long-term and sustainable funding for Indigenous school food programs.
Read the Coalition’s submission to the Federal Health HESA Committee
This year, the Federal government’s influential Standing Committee on Health is focused on the very important issue of children’s health. Organizations can prepare submissions of up to 2000 words on any issue connected to children’s health. You can read the Coalition’s submission here.
Over the next year the committee will be discussing a variety of issues relating to children’s health and calling expert witnesses. At the committee’s June meeting several MP’s asked questions about a National School Food Program and Dr. Alfred Aziz, Director General of the Office of Nutrition Policy and Promotion - Health Canada answered. You can hear that committee meeting here, where he answered that the health portfolio would work closely with Ministers of AAGC and ESDC to work towards a national school nutritious meal program.
Several Coalition members have asked their local MP to invite a member of their organization to speak to the Committee. Here is a list of the Committee Members. If your MP is on the Committee we encourage you to reach out to them, share the Coalition's Submission and ask if you can be invited to speak to the Committee. You can connect with the Coalition’s Coordinator Debbie Field, firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Besides summarizing the many benefits to children’s health that come from a well designed school food program, the main ask of our submission echoes our recommendations to the federal government:
We recommend that you allocate $1 billion over five years in budget 2023 towards a national school nutritious meal program and collaborate with provinces, territories, and Indigenous partners to provide them with an initial $200 million as soon as possible to fund their existing school food programs. This initial funding would be provided directly to First Nation, Inuit and Métis partners to fund programs in their communities, and to provinces and territories to continue to deliver programs that serve food based on Canada’s 2019 Food Guide, provide universal access to students, do not market to kids, and gather standardized program data.
We elaborate that in order to fully support the physical and mental health of children in Canada a national school nutritious meal program should:
Serve food based on Canada’s 2019 Food Guide.
Provide universal access to students.
Reflect the cultures and traditions of students.
Not market to kids.
Enable connections between students and members of the broader community and create opportunities for students to eat together and to connect with caring adults.
Include opportunities for students to plan, purchase, grow, harvest and prepare food.
Be informed by the needs and perspectives of children and their families.
See the Coalition’s infogram summary of our recommendations here.