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Coalition welcomes government’s robust school food policy consultation

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: schoolfood@foodsecurecanada.org


Summary:

  • The federal government has committed to working with provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous partners and stakeholders to develop a National School Food Policy and to work towards a national school nutritious meal program.

  • The Coalition for Healthy School Food (“the Coalition”) welcomes the government’s robust consultation process including roundtables, an online questionnaire, visits to school food programs and community meetings. We applaud the government’s efforts to hear diverse perspectives from across the country that can inform the best possible program for Canada.

  • The two photos attached show:

  • On December 2 Minister Gould and MP Wilson Miao met with the BC Coalition members and school community partners, including SD38 staff and trustees, where they toured the breakfast program and discussed school food policies and programs in BC and Canada.

  • On November 28 Minister Gould attended a local roundtable hosted by Coalition member Nourish NS, which included the local MP Kody Blois, Mayor Peter Muttart of Kings County, parents, university staff, and community leaders.


December 5, 2022 - The Coalition for Healthy School Food (“the Coalition”) is pleased to see the federal government advancing its commitment in two mandate letters, specifically working “with provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous partners and stakeholders to develop a National School Food Policy and to work toward a national school nutritious meal program.”


“Developing a good school food policy will require the investment of many experts across Canada,” said Debbie Field, Coalition Coordinator. “We are very pleased to see the government’s robust consultation unfold, and are encouraging our 227 organizational members, 111 endorsers and thousands of supporters to participate in the consultations underway including filling out the public questionnaire.”

School food programs can make significant positive impacts to children and youth’s physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. COVID-19 and school closures demonstrated that school food programs are an essential service. Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, and Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould’s mandate letters included advancing a National School Food Policy for Canada.


"Every child should have access to the healthy food they need to grow and learn. I am looking forward to hearing Canadians' diverse views on what they want and need out of a school food policy,” said Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould. “A national approach to school food has the potential to improve the overall health of our children as they learn, leading to better futures for them and for Canada."

On November 28 Minister Gould attended a local roundtable hosted by Coalition member Nourish NS, which included the local MP Kody Blois, Mayor Peter Muttart of Kings County, parents, university staff, and community leaders.


“I really appreciated the opportunity to meet with Minister Gould and share our community's perspectives,” said Lindsay Corbin, the NS Coalition lead and staff member of Nourish NS. “We are really excited that the federal government will be working with provincial governments to support and build on crucial school food programs.”

Later in the week Minister Gould visited Richmond, British Columbia, where she experienced the breakfast program of an elementary school in Richmond School District #38. She met students participating in this program, as well as MP Wilson Miao, School District 38 staff and trustees, and school community leaders from the region.



“The federal government can make a real difference in the lives of children and youth and their families,” said Samantha Gambling, the BC Coalition Chapter Coordinator, and staff member of Public Health Association of BC, “It is so great to have Minister Gould join us to understand a school food program in action, and hear both the opportunities and needs of school communities and school food program practitioners in BC.”

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The Coalition for Healthy School Food is a growing network of 200+ non-profit member organizations and 100+ endorsers from every province and territory advocating for public investment in and federal standards for a universal cost-shared school food program that would see all children having daily access to healthy food at school.


Contact Information:

Debbie Field Coordinator Coalition for Healthy School Food schoolfood@foodsecurecanada.org 416 537-6856


Samantha Gambling BC Coalition Coordinator Coalition for Healthy School Food, hosted by the Public Health Association of BC bcschoolfood@phabc.org 604 652-3793


Lindsay Corbin

NS Coalition Lead

Coalition for Healthy School Food, hosted by Nourish Nova Scotia

lindsay.corbin@nourishns.ca

902 759-2634

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