August 26, 2020, Montreal - La Cantine pour tous and the Quebec Collective of the Coalition for Healthy School Food welcome the Quebec government's decision to invest an additional $11 million to support school food for vulnerable youth and call on our governments to continue efforts to provide universal access to school food beyond the emergency response to the current crisis.
"This is a powerful gesture, which demonstrates a commitment to promote food security for young Quebecers and which will allow many families who were not targeted by past school food funding from the province to benefit from assistance in this difficult period Since the beginning of Covid-19, we have been working with our members to provide solutions to families that this health crisis has affected. We can see that the need is only increasing," explains Thibaud Liné, Director of La Cantine pour tous.
The two organizations are also available to support schools in the implementation of concrete solutions with the granted funds. They also invite the government to continue its long-term efforts towards the creation of a School Food Program for all children in the province. "Since its creation, the Quebec Collective of the Coalition for Healthy School Food has been campaigning for the creation of a universal School Food Program. Today, we are the only G7 country not to benefit from it and the crisis has only reinforced the importance of establishing a program of this kind," says Danie Martin, spokesperson for the Collective.
Beyond the emergency response to the most vulnerable, the two organizations are convinced of the importance of healthy school food for all. "First and foremost, we want to make sure that all children eat their fill, that's for sure, but we also want to ensure that they eat well, to maintain good health and learn at school, regardless of their social background. This is fundamental," adds Danie Martin.
The two organizations are therefore calling on the government to pursue its commitment through the creation of a School Food Public Policy as part of its recovery plan and to work in the long term with stakeholders on the ground to develop a universal School Food Program. Several mobilized organizations are already implementing initiatives to promote access to breakfasts, snacks and lunches for all, with models that could be generalized. La Cantine pour tous has extended its program of healthy and balanced meals accessible for everyone in 14 schools for the new school year. In total, nearly 4,500 kids will now be able to benefit from this program.
About La Cantine pour tous :
La Cantine pour tous is a non-profit organization that aims to promote access to food security for all, especially for children and elders. As the first Quebec network to bring together community organizations, social integration enterprises and collective organizations producing healthy and affordable meals, La Cantine pour tous focuses above all on uniting and coordinating positive forces to address food security issues in Quebec.
About the Quebec Collective of the Coalition for Healthy School Food:
The Quebec Collective is part of the Coalition for Healthy School Food, a coalition working at the national level. Member organizations of the Quebec Collective bring together actors from various regions and sectors across the province to engage in dialogue, share resources, and collaborate on collective advocacy, research and pilot projects.
La Cantine pour tous
Lorraine Grouvel, Communication Manager
Danie Martin, Coordinator