On February 11 the Ontario Chapter of the Coalition for Healthy School Food submitted its recommendations to the Ontario government’s pre-budget consultations.
The Chapter urged the government to increase its investment in school food programs, specifically to
Increase its annual investment in Ontario’s Student Nutrition Program by 20% from $32 million to $38.4 million to accommodate rising food costs and greater demand for the program in light of COVID, as well as additional funding if virtual learning is to continue.
Invest $10 million in school food infrastructure and capacity building funding for schools or community organizations that provide programs in school through the creation of a school food infrastructure fund.
Invest $5 million in innovative research-based school food program demonstration models to build on the strength of current Student Nutrition Programs. Programs would include robust research and evaluation, test out costing, inform program expansion, and uncover cost efficiencies.
Consult with Indigenous Nations and leaders and provide additional funding to Indigenous Nations and communities in Ontario to advance Indigenous-led school food initiatives.
Support the spirit of Bill 216, the Food Literacy for Students Act, and invest in food literacy education. This includes establishing and expanding school food granting programs, investing in teacher training on how to use the curriculum to teach food literacy, and supporting community-based partners that provide food education in schools.
Prepare to accept matched funding from the federal government and negotiate a cost shared school food program.
You can read the Chapter’s full submission here.