Statement: School Food Guidelines

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Victoria, B.C., April 5, 2022 - The BC Chapter of the Coalition for Healthy School Food, which is administered by the Public Health Association of BC, believes in the importance in ensuring that all K-12 students have access to healthy food at school to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, to help students be prepared for their learning day, and to develop the skills and literacy needed for a lifetime of healthy eating. Health-promotion is one of the Coalition's eight Guiding Principles in our vision of a school food program for Canada.


Overall, the BC Chapter of the Coalition for Healthy School Food is in support of the proposed 2022 BC School Food Guidelines as an evidence-based gold standard for healthy school food. We understand that these guidelines are voluntary, and members of the BC Chapter have shared that there will be different levels of acceptance and ability to implement the new guidelines due to differences in resources, staffing and infrastructure.


We recognize the complexity and need for local autonomy in implementing these guidelines, and have proposed minor modifications to ensure that a diversity of healthy foods can be served and sold at school.


We also advocate that these guidelines be accompanied by sufficient government investment in resources and staffing to ensure that school districts and school communities have the supports they need to equitably and sustainably implement the new 2022 School Food Guidelines.


We recognize there will be challenges adopting new guidelines, especially when schools have had to modify food services during the pandemic; however, the Coalition hopes that the updated guidelines can be a resource for school communities to support conversations around the future of healthy school food environments.


We appreciate the invitation to participate in the BC Ministry of Health's consultation process, and look forward to the final 2022 Guidelines and accompanying resources.


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The Coalition for Healthy School Food is a growing network of more than 200 non-profit member organizations from every province and territory (including 40+ organizations in British Columbia) 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.


For more information:

Samantha Gambling

Coordinator

BC Chapter of the Coalition for Healthy School Food

bcschoolfood@phabc.org

604-652-3793


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