OTTAWA, March 22, 2019. -- The Coalition for Healthy School Food thanks the government for planting the first seed in their 2019 Budget by committing to a National School Food Program! For the first time, Canada will join Japan, Germany, France, Italy, USA, and the UK (the other G7 nations), as well as Brazil, Korea, Sweden, Finland and many other countries who understand the importance of a National School Food Program to the health, education and well being of students.
School food programs benefit children and youth, teachers, administrators, families, farmers and the local economy. The budget recognizes “the critical importance of healthy meals for a child’s education”, and “announces the Government’s intention to work with provinces and territories towards the creation of a National School Food Program.”
This budget’s National School Food Program is embedded in the new Canada Food Policy. However, unlike the Local Food Infrastructure Fund, Buy Canadian Promotion Campaign and Tackling Food Fraud action, the School Food Program does not include any allocation of funds.
“Today we celebrate the federal government’s commitment to a National School Food Program,” said Debbie Field, Coordinator of the Coalition. “At the same time, we were looking for a financial contribution in this budget because school food programs have been found internationally to be an effective health promotion strategy. In Canada we are facing a number of health crises that a National School Food Program could help address.”
There is tremendous expertise, creativity and strength amongst those who have created successful lunch, snack and breakfast programs across Canada and in Indigenous communities. The Coalition and our network of 52+ health and education focused community practitioners and national organizations look forward to working with all levels of government and other stakeholders in the implementation phase of the newly announced National School Food Program.
Today, we thank the government for planting the first seed in creating a National School Food Program!
1 Investing in the Middle Class, Budget 2019, March 19, 2019, page 163
For more information please contact:
Debbie Field, Coordinator Coalition for Healthy School Food