Federal Standing Committee on Health (HESA)
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.
#NOURISH KIDS NOW is a grassroots campaign that is calling on the federal government to make a cost-shared investment in healthy, universal school food programs, which would build on the investments of our provinces, municipalities and communities.
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With thanks to Nourish Nova Scotia’s #SpeakUp4School Food for the inspiration of 1, 2, 3 and their postcard campaign
* Photo: Natoaganeg School has seen some great impacts on the students healthy food literacy and social cohesion with their universal school nutrition program supported by Coalition member Canadian Feed the Children.
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